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Updated: 16 Oct 2020 01:25
- Site: Hordes
- Genre: Medieval with FvF
- 3D Game: Yes
- Free To Play: Yes
- Premium Pay Option: Yes
Hordes is a casual and fun tab-targeted action PBBG. I had a bit of doubt logging into the game for the first time due to the fact that I found some debates on whether or not Hordes is a true MMORPG. A few people made it sound as if your character does not persist and others made it sound as if it were a multi-player game alone. I'm happy to report that Hordes is most certainly a browser based MMO with persistent characters and an account system that attaches your Hordes account to your Google account. In fact, you can tie 5 characters to a single account:
This just illustrates that these days it's really hard to define a game unless you experience it yourself because many games are getting misidentified (don't even get me started on the misuse of the term "sandbox"). One of the first things that I noticed about the game was the sheer number of players in the starting area. This is contrasted with most other PBBG's in which the populations are generally small.
- A 3D world that seems very smooth for a 3D PBBG
- Stats distribution points to customize your characters
- Skill system with a limited number of skill points so choose your builds wisely
- In game currency including common and premium currency
- Loot can be dropped on the ground
- Very combat focused
- Faction vs Faction combat
- Clans and Party system
- Equipable gear such as armor and weapons
- Buy and sell with other players using a merchant
- 4 Classes (Warrior, Mage, Shaman or Archer) and over 50 spells/skills
- Rare mounts
- PvE rare bosses and world bosses
- 3 maps plus player made map editor
- Tinkering system
Hordes is very FvF (Faction vs Faction) focused with an emphasis placed on grouping, hence the motivation behind the name "Hordes". This is illustrated early on as you must pick a faction (Bloodlust or Vanguard) before entering the game world. Likewise, you are encouraged, but not forced, to join a party very early on and I found myself hunting near the starting zone while in a party within minutes of logging in for the first time.
PvP death penalties include the loss of gold and the loss of fame. Likewise, a kill results in both gold and fame gain. Though the amount of gold lost and gained is unclear. You can only PvP with another player of the opposing faction when you have a comparable PvP level to their own. Your PvP level and the span is seen on your character sheet (c). For example, even though I'm at level 17 currently, my PvP level is 20 and the range is 15-25. PvP level is based on the gear you are wearing so in this case, if I dropped my gear then my PvP level would be 17 (12-22). With this system, you wont have OP characters dropping in on you and taking you out in a single hit, likewise you also cannot do the same. Fights are fair in this respect, ignoring groups and balancing.
Hordes includes a "tinkering" system. Tinkering is a simplified crafting system in which looted items are improved. In this case, looted items can be improved with runes and gold through a blacksmith, but there is a chance of failure in which case you will lose your rune and the cost of gold needed for the upgrade, but you will not lose the item you were trying to improve. You can improve your item(s) multiple times but with each upgrade the costs increase. Level 1 runes will start to drop early on so you can quickly start enjoying this aspect of the game.
Over the years, the idea of what constitutes a large world within an MMO has greatly declined. I'm often met with claims of a large world only to find disappointment. MMO's like Asheron's Call and Eve Online are truly huge and I typically prefer that. That being said, the world is indeed quite small. It is divided into 3 zones and level restricted. This represents what I dislike the most in an MMO, a small and closed world, with herding mechanics through limited level based travel. There is also no organic travel between the zones, instead, you travel to each zone by talking to an NPC.
Guardstone zone, level 1 - 24. Higher levels can also return here.
Headless zone, level 25 - 34. Higher levels can also return here.
Faivel zone, level 35+. Higher levels can also return here.
So far, I've not seen any P2W complications. You can purchase premium currency called Hordes points to remove ads, gain a support icon that appears next to your name in chat, increase merchant limits, and increase inventory space including both bag space and stash storage. Bag space is the number of inventory slots available on your character(s) and stash space is "bank" space that is shared between all of your characters. However, these additional perks must be paid for every month (or yearly) in order to retain them. At the time of this writing the cost for these perks is 900 Horde Points per month, and $10 will get you 1300 points.
I have two complaints about the game beginning with the TOS. One thing I've found from a life time of gaming is that problems with games often stem from game staff, not the actual game itself. The official TOS, that must be agreed upon in order to play the game, is that you can be banned for any reason, and without explanation. This means that if any GM has any issue with you for any reason, real or imagined, that they can ban you. The TOS also includes a list of bannable offenses but since they can ban you for any reason, having a list of bannable offenses is a bit pointless.
A game ran by staff that can so casually ban you, is a game that I myself will only play casually for a few weeks and that I wont support financially or allow myself to progress too far. In fact, reading some public posts, I see that there have been some accusations of extreme bias by GM's in the past, though I cannot confirm whether or not the accusations are true, I can confirm by reading the TOS, that there is a policy that lets GM's exercise bias.
My other critisim is with regard to PvP balancing. In an effort to balance PvP, Hordes IO has a PvP level that varies from your character level, it is based on level and gear score and lets you PvP with others within 5 levels above and below your own PvP level. The problem is that this PvP range can be altered on the fly simply by changing out any number of gear pieces. You may, for example, be out hunting and see an enemy player and after realizing you cant engage him due to his being outside of your PvP range, you then ignore him and continue hunting, then once your health is low from hunting get attacked by the same player that you could not PvP with… because he changed his gear while watching you hunt. One of the top clans in Hordes called Alpha Dogs (alph), uses this to their advantage to farm fame, some members have alts with level 25 characters that have a PvP range of 20 - 45 and already have gold crowns and completely circumvent the spirit of the PvP range for fair and fun PvP.