Crowns of Power Review: A Stunning Free Fantasy MMO



By Bryan King (Bryan), OnRPG Journalist

"Crowns of Power is Rampid Interactive's first 3D graphical online MMO for the PC. It features an extensive 3D world, filled with amazing landscapes and environments. The game world is being designed to support hundreds of players simultaneously, with the network capacity to support many game servers. Players will meet up with others from all over the world to fight side by side or opposite one another on the field of battle. Adapt and evolve in this ever changing world, where players self-govern and guide one another. Will you fight for what is just and true, or seek the ultimate desire of man in a quest for absolute power?"

The Gaming Elements (Gameplay)

One of the amazing elements of CoPwhich is noticeable straight away is the fact that the game does not include classes, which is what you'd typically see in most MMOs. I was expecting to see the typical warrior, mage and assassin combination, but in Crowns of Power, that is not the case. Instead, you choose a primary school of power. There are five schools, Red, Blue, Green, Black, and White. Each of these classes has a unique, custom tailored specialty on how they perform in basic PvE, PvP, and Raids. One thing I did enjoy is the fact that Rampid Interactive did a very great job of easing players along the beginner stages of the game. You are not bogged down with loads of random help tips at random intervals, but instead, you learn as you go, and get introduced to things when you attempt to do them. One thing that plagues CoP is that players are able to buy powerful equipment (armor and weapons) from the cash shop. A unique feature that CoP has is that players are able to gain experience while the player is logged off, the amount EXP Over Time is an option that armor and weapons can have.

Unfortunately, the cash shop equipment also has a high standard rate of EXP Over Time items, which harms the community economic system, in some way. Player vs. Player starts either when players join a guild or hit level 50, whichever comes first. Guilds are able to buy Guild Castles, which currently have no purpose but serve as a point of socializing and planning among guild members, and hostile guilds have the ability to capture the castle by having someone interact with the guild flag and hold off the point for at least three hours, this is the Guild Siege system. PvP penalties become rather steep, however. If you player-kill another player, it becomes extremely hard to function within the game. Your name becomes red, prices from vendors double and guards attack you. Also, getting killed in PvP makes you drop all gold on you, as well as spell regents that are needed to cast powerful skills. This experience may be liked by hardcore PvPers, but casual players may not enjoy this all too much.

The quest system is rather linear, it follows the generic "kill this" and "go talk to him" type of quests, and it is sort of a let-down in earlier levels. But the end-game presence of dungeons with lots of teamwork makes up for it.

However, a new highlight of CoP comes in the form of a petition system. If a player has a red name, they are able to fill out a petition to get it removed, by telling their side of the story to members of the community at an in-game booth, and players can vote whether or not they want to clear the PKer of his charges. This adds a new level of immersion for Crowns of Power, and is a unique system that isn't seen in many games.

Crowns of Power Combat

While leveling, certain items called Experience Crystals have a chance from dropping from mobs; these items provide a substantial amount of experience points for players to get a good head start on their leveling needs. I personally found this handy, due to the fact that I found crystals on my quest mobs, giving me a nice boost to the next level, topped along with EXP over time, and quest experience, leveling doesn't come too hard.

One of the most interesting systems I've had the pleasure to experience in Crowns of Power is the 'achievement system', which gives players special achievements for completing certain tasks, for example, you get the First Blood achievement for killing your first monster, or the Bounty Hunter achievement for killing your first rare monster. Although there are no additional perks for this, other players have the ability to look at your achievements, and one thing most players do enjoy is the ability of showing off (seriously, isn't that what competitive gaming is all about?).

Finally, one big in CoP is the lack of an in-game map. Luckily there is a "where-is-____" sticky on the Crowns of Power forums for new and old players to be able to fine special quest mobs or NPCs. Next to that there is a fan site dedicated to the purpose of finding in-game quests. It's not official, and there is no announcement for it: I only found this via the power of search engines. Some players will not take the initiative to do this themselves. I was lost at some point and the task I was completing was only finished due to the help of a player that I whispered via the game's World Chat.

Overall, CoP does provide a whole slew of promising features, but there are some problems that developers need to fix in order for CoP to become a better game.

Graphics & Sound

Crowns does not have the best graphics, I'd like to establish that before getting any further. It has the same models you see in most games... the typical tiger, scorpion, undead or zombie-ish character. But what CoP does excel at is the fact that character armor and weapon models look terrific. Red crowns (people of the 'red' magic school) have a helm that is set on fire when worn, blue crowns have shoulders with glowing ice spikes. CoP puts such great intricate detail into their armor models that you might find yourself staring at them for minutes on end.

As for the game sound, it is simply nothing special. The generic firebolt casting, weapon scream, the clashing of sword on enemy, etc. The music is decent, but not enough to impress me.

Community

This is one aspect of the game that the CoP community team needs to work on. Constant spamming, cussing and some immature players puts Crowns of Power on the backburner compared to some games. As well as some complaints of constant bugs on CoP's new PvE server, and lack of response by the game's community leaders. If Crowns wants to reach the top, they're going to have to kick their community input up a notch.

Overall, CoP is a pretty decent game. It provides an easy to get into, fun experience. It gives players of both PvE and PvP tastes a chance to show what they've got. The downsides are the overpowered cash shop, lackluster sound, lack of a map, and awful community.

Pros:
- Unique school-system
- Fun EXP System
- Entertaining Achievement System
- Great equipment models
- Late game PvP will be liked by hard-core pvpers.

Cons:
- Lack of an in-game map
- Overpowering cash shop
- Lackluster sound
- Horrid community
- Late-game PvP system may turn casual PvPers off.

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