Call of Thrones is a browser-based 3D action role-playing game (ARPG), an original Chinese title that was firstly published by GameWave.net and later localized into another three regions under different names, i.e. Call of Thrones in North America, Conquest of Thrones in Europe and War of Thrones in Malaysia.
Being browser-based and 3D at once usually means the download and installment of a small file before the game is ready to be played. It’s true to Call of Thrones – players need to firstly install Fancy 3D, the small-sized engine to support the 3D graphics and smooth gameplay.
The game is set in the classical chaotic period in Chinese history, namely, the era of the Three Kingdoms in ancient China when three factions known as Wei, Shu and Wu are in endless war for hegemony. During the character creation stage, players will not only simply customize characters in looks but also need to choose a region which in practice refers to the three rival factions players will fight for in large scale of battles.
In the game, four types of weapon classified into one-handed, two-handed, dual-wield and polearm are mutually matching against one another, such as one-handed weapons stronger than two-handed ones but weaker than dual-wield. While four types of weapon can be freely picked up by all, players with the advantageous weapon don’t necessarily win the battle, for skills, gear and other factors are also influential in combat. Like the free choice in weapons, eight skill trees – four sets for weapons, three for support including defense, poison and healing, and one for trading – are open to players’ selection. Every player can learn up to four sets of skills. And it’s suggestible for players to focus on one weapon specification and leave the rest options for support or trade. Trading skills here is almost a necessity rather than a choice, since only when players learn this skill can they craft items and upgrade equipments, which are otherwise only available via purchase.
As usual, quests drive gameplay on, and quests are generic, grinding and combat-oriented. In-game combat is turn-based, which naturally leads to the slow pace. But it offers the auto-combat alternative to the manual control, which can set players free if they get bored. While the wilderness is the main battlefield for players to take quests and mostly take on monsters, the first instance becomes unlocked at Lv. 15, with the next dungeon(s) available every five levels since then. Dungeons serve as a major channel to gain XP, merits, equipment, items and tokens, etc.. Tiered into three difficulty levels, instances of Heroic and Legendary are more challenging and consequently more rewarding than those of Normal.
Generally, players gather around in front of challenging instances, but they are not alone when doing solo with their mounts and pets. Both are upgradable but require a lot of grinding to gather enough pet training guides or scrolls that are rewarded by completion of quests or exchanged for tokens gained from farming instances. Not only is the mount & pet, a wide range of items such as weapons, armors and gems can be upgraded, only that none can be achieved without investment of time and money.
Not that it is without its cons, which include the mediocre graphics and lack of something unique of its own. But Call of Thrones on the whole is better than average amongst the browser titles with solid mechanics and a massive in-game world with rich variety in systems to delve into.