Blood Crown is a polished fantasy RTS MMO that thrusts all players into the intensive battles among humans, vampires and werewolves. Set in the 14th century of Europe, the game sees the rise of the two races used to live in secrecy and darkness in the moment when the Black Death strikes the human beings. Who will get the crown soaked with losing races’ blood, the supernatural son of darkness, the superhuman strong halfblood or the tenacious old ruler?
Before diving into the intense struggle, you need to choose your side out of the three factions. Each race has a particular strength in one of the three army unit types – vampires produce the strongest cavalry, humans use advanced technology to forge the toughest archer while the werewolves generate the best infantry. Besides, the choice in faction also decides the entire building style and palette of your own city: the purple vampire castles marked by the luxury hurr, the nature-close realm in the forest for werewolves and the classic square kingdom of humans. Choose your preferred style and waste no time to start construction.
Construction of a base of operation is the first thing to do in Blood Crown. You need to build and upgrade a dozen or so types of structures that cover the supply, army building, research, defense, weaponry, diplomacy and other fronts. Time and resources are still the essence of city building with time being the primary limitation in the game. It does take a while to get everything erected in the base; meanwhile, Blood Crown also offers some treats that help speed up the construction – on one hand, you can complete an ongoing construction under 5 minutes for free immediately once you reached Lv. 5; and on the other, you can use sundials of varying duration (earned or purchased) to reduce the corresponding time on any project.
After a mellow budding period, you can start to have adventure in the outside world. You can scout the various terrains and corrupted cities in the wilderness and send the strong enough hero-led troops to attack. The different outposts out there can offer specific bonuses – occupying the grassland increases the output of wood while venturing into sin cities at or above Lv. 6 is an important way to collect shards that are consumed to set up new cities. Besides, as long as you have constructed the Adventure Tavern and upgraded it to unlock maps, you can send your heroes alone for some exploration and try their luck in discovery of skills and different boosters that strengthen your army.
Blood Crown focuses more on the simulation than on strategy. Set the resource-carrying supply units aside, there are only three types of fighters: infantry, archer and cavalry, each with three grades as Normal, Elite and Champion. To activate soldiers of the higher grade is like going through evolution: from Marksman to Assassin and then to Shadow, the ranged fighters will have increased attack range, damage and HP; and similarly the soldiers on foot and the riders also have enhanced movement speed, attack and strength as the grade increases. While the unit types are limited, the game set a loose control in the army size – you can build many barracks, train and take hundreds of soldiers into a battle each time and reinforce your army with multiple waves for victory. Building up a powerful troop is also a slow and long process, especially in getting champion troops, since you need to level up various buildings synchronously to meet the requirements in activation.
In construction, defense is also important because the various rival lords out there will certainly knock or break through your gate when your castle reaches Lv. 5. Multiplayer competition is an essential element in the factional warfare. You can join or create a guild and bind together with members for mutual development. For more effective cooperation, you will need to keep leveling up the ally-related buildings so that you can send reinforcing troops fast and get each other’s back before it is too late.
Blood Crown is a fairly conventional real-time strategy game with all the established concepts of this genre. And it is game more suitable for fans preferring the managerial style over visible fierce action and deep planning with diverse army types and enjoyed most with short-bursts styled play.