Time moves differently, within these Realms of Atlantis - and as I was soon to discover, so can your membership of an alliance! With an order from my Great Dragon, came the seeding of an Outpost. My Commander had decided, to set about the expansion of my Dragon's Empire. Thus was it fortunate, that my First City was surrounded by suitable Wildernesses - as is required, for the building of Outposts:
For quite some time, did I find myself wondering - exactly what an Outpost is? Thus it was, with the Conquer of a Plain, a Water Dragon egg, and my Commander's level of eight - that I began to learn my answer :) After watching the intro to my Water Outpost (much of which I forgot), I was presented with effectively, an empty City and an empty Field. Well now I thought, let's build it like I did my First City. So off my Commander went, building both Homes and Farms - and it was only later, that I realised that having loads of Farms in Outposts, is not (necessarily) the best approach! It took me a couple of weeks to build my Water Outpost, and at the end I had: 23 level nine Homes, 4 level nine Silos (required for gathering resources), 25 level nine Farms - all intermixed with a level nine Water Dragon's Keep, Muster Point and Training Camp. It was then that something dawned on me - I have another Great Dragon! A Water Dragon, who also required his Armour to be reclaimed, before he could be used in attacks on Anthropus Camps. It was here, that some hint of Dragon Sickness returned, as I searched for my Water Dragon's Amour. Fortunately, I was able to use the time whilst Marching, to construct my Empire's second Outpost - my Wind Outpost. Unfortunately, I have yet to find, a single piece of my Water Dragon's Armour! Any ways, as far as my Wind Outpost is concerned - I decided to approach it's construction, along the same paths as I did with my Water Outpost. Thus, I set about building Homes and Farms, but with both a realisation, and a twist along the way :) At the end of another two weeks (or so), did my Wind Outpost have: 24 level nine Homes, 3 level nine Silos (required for gathering resources), 19 level nine Farms, 4 level nine Lumber-mills, 4 level nine Mines, 3 level nine Quarries - together with a level ten Dragon's Keep, level nine Muster Point, and a level nine Training Camp. The realisation dawned on me (by complete surprise): as I noticed, that when I sent my Army to Outposts, that they were NOT consuming my Empire's Food (at least the Food from my First City). This allowed me to build up my First City's Food resources, which in-turn, allowed the construction of my First City to progress (such as it's high level Wall). The twist affected my building strategy, as I realised then, that my Outposts did not require as many Farms - so I changed (albeit a little late), to building for the other resources (the Lumber-mills, Mines and Quarries). It was here, that Fortune decided to shine upon me, as it turned out, that I already had a complete set of Wind Dragon Amour! (I believe I won it from a Chest, and I'm hoping for the same with my Water Dragon's Armour - as I have still not found a single piece, even from attacks on higher level Lakes, with my Great Dragon accompanying). I am glad that I have my Wind Dragon, as I have made great use of him - upon attacks upon Anthropus Camps. I have found it's best to split my Army into two, with both attacks proceeding in sync - one attack led by my Great Dragon, the other led my Wind Dragon. I have also found that my Wind Dragon, can become injured far more, than my Great Dragon does. Thus, until my army contained suitable Ranged Troops, did I attack only medium level Anthropus Camps, with my Wind Dragon. Overall: I have found that I enjoyed building both Water, and Wind Outposts. I became so engrossed in building them, that I failed to realise - that I had been kicked out of the alliance! I was somewhat shocked at first, but after a while, felt somewhat happier - as I'd learn to play this Dragons of Atlantis, by my own Might, and my own Dragon's Fire :) How about you?
There be such things as Dragon Sickness. It creeps right to the Heart, of even the most Stalwart of Dragons. In a moment of Madness, did a Pool of Gold besiege my Great Dragon - a Quest for his Dragon's Armour, and an order for his Commander ... March my entire Army into the Heart of a level 11 Anthropus Camp - and reclaim my Armour! Madness you say? Well ... Here is how my Dragon, and his Fantasy Realm have grown, over the past three weeks:
There are those that say you learn more from your mistakes, then you do from your victories ... In this Dragon's Lust, was this certainly true - for an entire Army lost, on the whim of a Dragon! But, for those that are bold and fearless - a rise in power, unequal to any other (which took less than a minute to achieve). Through this Madness, did I rise my Commander's power, by more than a million! Having no Troops with which to defend my First City (and having just lost 288k power), it was to the Treasure Chests again ... It was here that I found more power through Fortune plus Troops: Thunder Golems (plus 160k power), Storm Drakes (plus 30k power), Dark Slayers (plus 400k power), Steelshard Harriers (plus 20k power) and in Giddying Heights (plus 500k power - from God knows what!). Thus, was my Dragon's Commander - now a Viceroy, with just over 1.25 million power ... But, what of my Dragon's Armour? It is here that this Dragon's Sickness spread, to my Adventurer Tyche - who herself, had a mission of her own: to gather as many ingredients for The Forge (as possible). Now, having become disillusioned with the fruits of longer Adventures (such as Investigate the Sky Temples), it was time to try something different: thirty four Adventures to Scouting the Anthropus. Some might call this Dragon Lust, but with a Quest to Consult the Ancients (for a check of what she had just done), followed by a Quest to Reap What Has Been Sown - did the Forges of this Dragon Land, rush forth with Molten Gold! At first was there Battle Dragon Plating (plus 2k power). At second was there a Minotaur Amulet (plus 2k power). At third was there Armoured Transport Plating (plus 1.5k power) ... At sixth was there a Halberdsman Shield (plus 2.5k power) ... At eleventh was there Swift Strike Dragon Plating (plus 2k power). At twelfth was there ... But, what of my Dragon's Armour? Well, it's not in the Forge! Don't tell me that, go out and find it!! Well ... Even Molten Gold must solidify, thus it was with an Attack upon a level 7 Anthropus Camp, where I first found a piece of Dragon Armour - my Great Dragon's Claw Guards! Then did the Dragon Sickness return ... For it was Quest upon Quest, to attack Anthropus Camps (of medium to high levels) to win the remaining pieces of Armour. At times was this a difficult Quest (particularly in terms of patience) - as it took just under two weeks, to find the remaining three pieces! I was fortunate that there was a level eight Anthropus Camp, and a level seven Anthropus Camp - both within a minute or so's march time (of my First City). I kept hitting both of these, intermixed with some level nines and tens. In each attack, did my Dragon's Commander march his entire Army in (some sixty thousand troops) - and my Army hardly ever lost, any men. I suspect that the main reason for this, was the fact I had countless long-bowman (ten thousand or so), with three hundred Armoured Transports (which they travelled in). Often, did my Army return with few spoils of war (at least in the form of Dragon Armour) - as it was far more common, for them to return with resources (such as food). I'd tried hitting the same camp all the time, but that tactic did not work for me - as it frequently yielded zero items (and resources). As such, my Dragon's Commander also hit camps further away (to allow the closer ones a chance to re-spawn), and also hit level nine and ten camps (to increase his chances - of finding Dragon Armour). I found that I only ever earned one piece of Great Dragon Armour at a time, and that there was several days between each find ... During all of this, did my Great Dragon - wait patiently in his Dragon's Keep! And upon the last piece of Dragon Armour won? An excited Dragon (and player), whose Great Dragon was now fully equipped with: Claw Guards, Body Armour, Helmet and Tail Guard. It was with a visit to my Dragon's Keep, that I became excited - as my draw dropped, when first I saw my Great Dragon dressed in all his Armour! I was more than pleased - as my Great Dragon, now looked like a Battle Dragon! It was as though my Great Dragon, could fight an entire Army - just by himself :) Overall: A challenging three weeks in Dragons of Atlantis. Being part of an Alliance, I found it necessary to ignore any demands from them (I only had time to keep sending my Army out into battle). The Quest for my Great Dragon Armour, often seemed a fruitless one! But, the feeling of satisfaction (when you've won all four pieces) - is something that won't be beaten easily :) Dragon Gold, Dragon Armour!
My Commander's first days within The Alliance were marred with feelings of inferiority - as his Power Levels paled in comparison to his Over-Lords. Added to this, was the fact that no sooner had he joined The Alliance, than the Sentinel informed him of an impending Attack (on his First City). Here is how my Commander, and his Fantasy Realm have grown - over the past week:
That first Attack breached my City's Wall, and the enemy Commander made away with much of my City's Gold and Metal. The Attack Commander also slew all of my Wall's defenders (1692 Troops - including Halberdsman, Minotaurs, Swift Strike Dragons and Battle Dragons). My Commander had not known, that such low points existed! Fortunately (when it felt like he was on his knees), did he decide to open a Treasure Chest (or two). It was here that Fortune decided to shine upon him - as (from the Chests) did he gain: 3000 Storm Drakes and 50 Abyssal Ravagers. These Troops went straight to his City's Wall! Now, having had a long hard day, rebuilding his Resources and upgrading his Resource structures (Farms, Lumber-mills, Mines and Quarries) - did my Commander decide to put his feet up for the Evening (knowing that tomorrow would bring an upgrade to his Dragon's keep). But, when Morning came - it was not pleasant Fires of Dragon, as he had underestimated something: Storm Drakes and Abyssal Ravagers have massive food requirements, and Overnight - they'd eaten all of his Food Resources! Thus, with zero Food was it no Dragon's keep, and more drastically - no upgrades at all ... What could be done? Well ... With some head scratching, did I find a temporary solution: attack Anthropus Camps and Plunder their Resources. But, then was my Commander surprised - as he lost nearly all his Swift Strike Dragons and 9 Abyssal Ravagers when attacking a level 4 Anthropus Camp (I know!). There had to be a better solution (at least until his Army was big enough to dominate). With a question to The Alliance, did an answer manifest: the Transfer of Goods from higher-powered Alliance Members (e.g. with 9 million Food transferred from an Over-Lord, was it more than enough to feed his Storm Drakes and Abyssal Ravagers for a few days). Thus, the debate over whether my Commander should have joined The Alliance (or not) had been answered ... Even more importantly, it meant that I could resume the build-up of my First City (and continue to both grow, and support it's Army). It was here that I first learned about Power: the upgrading of Homes (to higher-levels) resulted in significant Power increases (plus 320, plus 640) - as did the upgrading of Lumber-mills (plus 128, plus 256). Thus, did I begin to understand how my Commander's Power Levels could grow! It was then that I realised (for the first time) that training Troops also increased my Commander's Power - although that was as nothing, when compared to the Power raised when those Treasure Chests gave me 3000 Storm Drakes in one go (aka plus 30 thousand Power). My Commander found that he was raising in Power quite quickly at this time - as he unlocked the Rank of High Commander, then of Legate, then of Elder. It was also then, that I realised that the bar at the top of the game screen (the one that shows your Commander's level) also happens to show how much Power remains - to your next Commander level. As such, my Commander started to obsess about his Power Level! At first, I started to investigate the Trade button. I observed that I could sell City Resources for Dragon Gold! Thus, was I glad that I had decided to build 8 Quarries (and carried out several levels of Masonry Research) - as this meant that I had a surplus of Stone. I wasn't sure what to sell it for - so I tried five-hundred thousand Stone, for fifty thousand Gold. It sold! Interesting I thought, that's one form of Power ... But, is there another? Oh yes, there is - I found it! The Forge ... Now, initially the Forge had confused me - as I couldn't seem to Forge anything. But, once I realised that you have to send your Adventurer out (to gather ingredients for the Forge) - then it made perfect sense! Thus, did my Adventurer (Tyche) start upon Quests of her own: Search the Shadows, Venture into the Mortal Mire, Scouting the Anthropus (really quite useful for low-level Forges) and Consult the Ancients. Whilst Adventuring, I noticed two key-points: first that Tyche was levelling up, and more importantly - that Tyche was bringing back ingredients for the Forge. Thus, to the Forge's Blacksmith did my Commander go. With a strike of a Hammer, did he Forge a Conscript Hammer (plus 1500 Power). With a strike of a Hammer, did he Forge a Conscript Amulet (plus 2000 Power). Well, now I thought - this is Power! Except, he broke his Hammer ... Overall: this has been an exciting week in Dragons of Atlantis. It has seen my City transform (from good foundations to strong foundations), and it has seen my Commander grow in Power (even if I feel - that he still needs more Troops in his Army). With my Commander's ability to Trade, receive Resources (from Allies) and Forge for Power - I have really started to enjoy this game!
During my first week of play, I had decided to concentrate on building up my Fantasy City and it's Troops. I had chosen to go about this, by initially focusing on the build-up of resources (which I believed would allow me to construct, a well-defended First City). This is how my Fantasy Realm looked - at the end of the first week:
To support my Quest for resources, I quickly realised - that I would require a high level Fortress. Thus, was it a key priority to upgrade my Fortress to level 6 (as this would allow me to have 26 resource buildings). Over time, did my Fortress grow to support this - and I decided to aim for a fairly equal spread of resource types (8 Farms, 5 Lumber-mills, 5 Mines and 8 Quarries). Whilst upgrading my Fortress, I found that my eyes were constantly drawn towards another associated structure: my City's Wall. As this structure also had demands for high-levels of Stone, I knew that my decision to build 8 Quarries - would pay off eventually (even if it took a while to dig the Stone for each upgrade). Thus, did I find that the upgrading of my Fortress, and the upgrading of my City's Wall - could proceed in unison (which I liked the idea of). Even so, I found that I became slightly frustrated - because with each Wall upgrade, I expected my Wall to turn to Stone! The next Quest I became involved with, was the construction of my Dragon's Keep (the home of my Great Dragon). A memorable highlight was when my Dragon's Egg hatched forth a baby Dragon! I was somewhat excited ... As it felt like my City now had something to guard (even if eventually it's your Dragon that guards your City). Thus, did I feel that my decision to build a level 4 Wall (early on) was completely justified - as it helped to protect what I regarded as the Heart of my City: my Great Dragon. Then did I find that my thoughts turned to Dragons (in general), as I elected to both construct and upgrade my Dragon Rookery. The race was on! I wanted as many Swift Strike Dragons and Battle Dragons as possible ... Unfortunately, I had neglected the building of my Garrisons - so I had to learn something of the Art of Patience, as I waited for my Garrison(s) to upgrade first to level 5 (for Swift Strike Dragons), then to level 7 (for Battle Dragons). In the meantime, did I find myself following the guidance that was available within the Quests Plane - as there seemed to be quite decent Rewards (for the training of lower-level Troops). As such, did I task myself with the training of: Porters (resource gatherers), Conscripts (low-level fighters), Spys (information gatherers), Halberdsman (agile bladed warriors), Minotaurs (heavy hammered warriors) and Longbowman (death from afar). Even so, I found it hard to view these Troops as anything more, than as a means to an end! I wanted to train Dragons - to field an Army of Dragons! Thus, did I find myself inspired - when I first trained Swift Strike Dragons (the smallest of the Dragon Breeds, a Western Dragon with short-ranged Fire). Thus, did I find myself excited - when I first trained Battle Dragons (the ubiquitous leviathan of the Dragon Breeds, a Western Dragon adorned in Armoured Plate). It was here (with 335 Halberdsman, 23 Longbowman, 350 Minotaurs, 30 Porters, 20 Spys, 143 Swift Strike Dragons and 300 Battle Dragons) that my thoughts turned to Conquest! With little regard for the Art of Spying, I marched my Army right into lower-level Anthropus Camps ... With 300 Battle Dragons I (mistakenly) believed that I had nothing to fear! At first, did my Conquests go well - I gained Hoards of resources, and boosted my resource production levels (by conquering Wilderness). As I had started Conquering on the last day of protection (from Attack) - I thought nothing of marching into higher-level Anthropus Camps (without Spying). Unfortunately, this is where I had underestimated the strength of my Army ... I lost (at least) a half to three quarters of my Army, then did I notice figures appearing on my screen with minus signs in front of them (it turned out that my Commander's Power Level had dropped). Feeling slightly overwhelmed, I recalled what was left (of my Army) and sent them to ground protecting my First City (by assigning them to my City's Wall). It was here that the dwindling one day of protection (from Attack) started to sink-in! Earlier on, I had received an invite to join an Alliance (which I had ignored - as I wanted all the Glory to myself). But, with an eye upon my Troop numbers, I decided to embrace this Alliance ... Thus, did my first week end! Overall: My decision to concentrate on the building of my Fantasy City (and my Fantasy Troops) meant that I neglected Conquest until the last minute (let alone the Forge). Some might say that this was a mistake, but I would say that this approach - has given me a strong Fantasy Realm (with good foundations), from which to Grow an Empire!
This is the first web-based flash-based Fantasy Game that I have ever played. What caught my eye, was the idea of fielding an Army of Dragons - and suspected that this would be the ideal Strategy Game to fulfil this desire! I donned my Dragon Scales, and marched to War:
What I found surprised me somewhat! The veteran of many a strategy game, I was used to building structures (such as Castles and Barracks) whenever I wanted to. Yet, this game twists that all around - for you can only build one structure at a time ... At first, this caused me little concern - for I approached the game in the same way that I would other strategy games: resources first. Thus, did I set about building Farms (for Food), Lumber-mills (for Wood), Mines (for Metal) and Quarries (for Stone). Now, as I had expected - the level of my Stronghold-Castle (here a Fortress) constrained the amount of these that I could build (e.g. each upgrade to my Fortress allowed me to have three more resource buildings). Yet, it was when I was upgrading my Fortress, together with my resource buildings - that I noticed that the build-upgrade times were increasing! At first, it took 15 seconds to build a Farm - which soon increased to several minutes (e.g. it's 14 minutes 21 seconds for a level 7 Farm). Now, that may not seem too bad ... But, when you consider that a level 2 Fortress takes 9 minutes 35 seconds, with a level 8 Fortress taking 1 day 5 hours 5 minutes 20 seconds, then you realise that the limit of building one structure at a time - can quickly become a hindrance! Of course, there's ways to eliminate this - for example, by building structures overnight-over-weekend, or by acquiring speed-ups (which shorten your build times). I found it amusing that the game gives you a taster of speed-ups, then wants you to purchase Rubies to buy them (in the future). Despite this, I persevered, and was soon starting to feel that I had a good level of resources for my First City. Thus, did I go about wanting to build Troops to defend it! It was here that I discovered that these to, have various requirements (as I had expected). I tasked myself with wanting to build Dragons - specifically Swift Strike Dragons, Battle Dragons and (my first) Great Dragon. Whilst these troops require resources (such as Food, Metal and Lumber) - they also require specific buildings (such as the Dragon Rookery, Dragon Keep, Garrison and Metalsmith) together with specific research (such as Dragonry and Rapid Deployment). It was here that this game started to be become much more exciting! I quickly set about building the various structures, and completing the necessary research (within the Science Centre) with one goal in mind: to build my troops as quickly as possible. I liked the fact that there was a hierarchy here - I had to build Halberdsman (requiring Metallurgy research), Minotaurs (requiring a level 3 Garrison) and Longbowman (requiring Weapons Calibrator research) BEFORE I had any hope of building Swift Strike Dragons, let alone Battle Dragons! As each of these tasks (aka Quests) was completed, it was satisfying to see that you earn rewards (such as ten thousand Gold Coins, and-or five thousand Food). All of this started to fuel my desire to build Battle Dragons (which feature even higher requirements - such as a level 7 Garrison). Whilst all of this is going on, it's very easy to overlook one simple fact: that your First City shall only be protected (from attack) for the first week. I don't think that a weeks grace is enough. There's so much you have to do within this week, that the time seems to fly by - especially when you task yourself with upgrading your City's Wall, hatching your baby Dragon's Egg, carrying out higher level research and training 300 Battle Dragons. There's also the Art of Spying to learn, which allows you to Spy on enemies - both human and AI controlled Anthropus Camps (which when captured, increase your production rates-resources). To help you with all of this, the game features a Quests Plane - which I feel provides a useful task list of what to build (or do) especially in the Newbie (aka early) stages of the game. Overall (so far): I think that this game shows the potential to warm-up to become one of my favourite (online) strategy games. Even so, I feel that there's room for improvement. Apart from giving Newbies' more time (perhaps two weeks of protection), there's one area that I found confusing - the Forge. I found the layout of it's controls confusing (at first), as the ability to Forge and Adventure were greyed out. As such, I decided to ignore them, and concentrated on building up my City and it's Troops. I also found it quite common to run out of resources (in the early stages), and I became frustrated by time (an on-going concern). All of this is why, I have decided to grade this game four stars at present (as there's so much more - within the game to explore).