"Back In My Day"
Any serious gamer knows that games like Age of Empires and Warcraft was where the real action was (ah the classic days of gaming brilliance), but the propagation of high-speed internet to the masses meant that the RTS genre's edges blurred a little and began to overlap with the once-niche world of the MMO. Now you've got RTS-MMOs being churned out like a product at a factory where said product is made (weak analogy, but I never claimed this was my strong suit). One such RTS-MMO that's worthy of a bit of coverage is Tribal Wars 2. It's a sequel that sees a fair bit of improvement to the original's features, and with a bit more content sprinkled in for good measure. Let us begin.
To an extent, Tribal Wars 2 is much like any one of the many medieval building games out there. In the same vain as the mobile-based Castle Clash, Tribal Wars 2 has you inheriting a settlement whose general location in the online medieval world you can choose at the outset. This settlement begins as a relatively small and unassuming entity at the start and it is up to you to take charge of its growth. Cue the fairly standard procedure of erecting and upgrading resource production buildings, perimeter fortifications, headquarters, and a military presence for defence/expansion and you begin to paint a picture of the general course of progress in Tribal Wars 2.
Settle Down, Saddle Up
You're presented at the outset with an interface that is a substantial improvement from the original Tribal Wars. Now, if you're not familiar with said original then this doesn't help you one but, but suffice it to say that everything is much smoother, better organised, and easier to navigate through than before. The interface is essentially there to facilitate the essentials of the game which include, but are not limited to: the production of resources through things like the clay pit, timber camp, and iron mine; provisions production in your settlement's farm; storage of your resources in the warehouse; the levelling up of the buildings in your settlement; conducting research to improve the performance of your structures, and many more actions of this kind.
Your progress in Tribal Wars 2 hinges on the number of buildings that you have as well as the level of these buildings, all collectively represented as a numerical value which is used to determine your progress compared to fellow players of the game that have their settlements elsewhere on the map. As you level up your buildings, their performance increases accordingly. Increasing the level of your clay pit for example allows it to produce more clay over a set period of time than if you had left it at its previous level.
Release Date: 24th June 2014
Available on: Browser
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Levelling up is as easy as spending increasing quantities of different resources on doing so, though you will eventually reach a plateau that can only be broken through if you engage in the other aspect of Tribal Wars 2: battle your enemies. Now, technically everyone is your enemy as surrounding tribes have the ability to attack your settlement, though you are also able to form factions with other tribes in order to strengthen your position in the game. If alliances aren't your thing (they should be however; you are less likely to survive without them), then building a barracks and producing military personnel is the only way to defend/attack other colonies, aside from increasing your fortifications on the perimeter that is. Just remember that the level of your headquarters limits the buildings you can produce and the levels you can reach with them.
Largely Aesthetic, But Welcome Nonetheless
The improvements in Tribal Wars 2 are largely aesthetic. The graphics have obviously been treated to some serious attention from Innogames, as has the interface that dictates the structure of the menus and the way you control pretty much every aspect of the game. While I'm reluctant to say that these are insignificant or insufficient changes, the game certainly feels like the same beast as Tribal Wars with a few tweaks and a visual overhaul. There's a few more features such as improved buildings and more content for example, but these changes aren't quite enough to get anyone that was bored of the original Tribal Wars excited.
I sign off here expressing a longing for more drastic improvements in Tribal Wars 3 (if the time ever comes) , particularly in the battle department which employs a purely statistical approach to the action, presenting tables of numbers instead of an actual battle scene as one should expect in games like these and that come as standard in titles like World of Warcraft. Tribal Wars 2 is decent, but it's left me wanting for some more substantial progress in the series.
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Tribal Wars 2 is developed by Inno Games.