When I wrote about Stronghold Kingdoms hitting 1.5 million users last month it intrigued me. As I read about the game I decided I wanted to check it out. Heck, it’s free to play so what did I have to lose? While I enjoyed it in the beginning, now I’m ticked at Firefly Studios.
All MMO games have you start with very little in the beginning and work your way up. Well, ok all games do that really but MMO’s make you realize it as you can only have one warrior fighting or one gathering to start. Stronghold Kingdoms is no different, although you don’t get actual fighters in the beginning. At first you have peasants who work on your dairy farm, orchard, wood cutting, and stone cutting. There are tracks to research for better equipment, buildings, etc but they take time and points to get through.
I didn’t mind that part until I ran out of points to do more research. I could buy it with the gold I had acquired but the game recommends waiting until you have a certain amount because you need that gold for other things (such as better fortifications if you have researched that).
The game also uses cards for faster or better effects against opponents and raising your level. However, these must be purchased with real money and so far I have yet to figure out if you can win them by reaching high levels or defeating other kingdoms. This is not what made me upset about Stronghold Kingdoms though, nope. It was when I tried playing the game after a week break (playing other computer games) and found out that many of the new buildings I researched I can’t utilize until I buy special points, which cost real money!
Believe me I understand that the creators and publisher of this game want to get paid for their effort. I am involved with a group currently creating a tabletop game and we want to make money from it so I know first-hand. It’s the fact that if I want to get anywhere in this game I HAVE to pay for it! If I chose to do so to get ahead faster I would have no issue with it but since it’s required, well now I don’t like the game anymore.
What is the point of this you ask? How about if a publisher/developer states a game is free to play, make sure it is for everything you need to actually play the game completely. Don’t force people to pay for the really good stuff that they have to have to actually get anywhere in the game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go remove this game from my hard drive.