Arena of War
By D&D Team
D&D Arena of War is now available, free for the iPhone and iPad! Quest through the Forgotten Realms and conquer with skill and strategy!
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@Plaguescarred on twitter
OMG wizards.... what have you done?
D&D angry birds with micro transactions?!?!?
I have seen 2D Korean mobile RPGs more D&D than Arena of War....
It's kinda fun but problematic. I'll probably do a full blog review at some point but here are some early thoughts:
The actual play is pretty simple although the starting quests don't do much to explain the game.
You really just want to launch your PC at bad guys. If you can ricochet them off a wall and back into you, you hit extra times and can kill most things much faster. Also, if you bounce and enemy into an ally that ally gets an attack. And if you bounce an enemy into another enemny you deal extra damage to both. But the revserse applies and if enemies bounce you into another enemy you get hurt a lot and if an enemy sends you into a friend two of your team ends up hurt. So there's some deceptive complexity as you want to group your allies on a single tough bad guy so you can trigger extra hits but that leaves you vulnerable to multiple blows yourself.
That said, the numbers from combos can get extremely high very fast, especially if bombs are involved. Those can really devestate a side and the battlefield can get pretty crowded with them sometimes.
It's very easy to wipe after a bad couple hits. And if you die you can spend a potion to try again (you can make three attempts) but potions are a rare reward that costs real money to replenish so once you die you're really better off just starting from scratch. Of course, you also lose the energy you spent. You have 100 energy and each mission uses 10-30, and it replenishes by 1 every couple minutes. So by failing you just wasted an hour's worth of enegery gain. So there's a real pressure to spend that buck and use a potion. I find that frustrating really.
Many of the features seem to be missing (social tabs, auto-fusion, etc). It really doesn't seem finished.
You all but need a group to play farther than the starter quests and the difficulty ramps up quickly. And the "random" help feature gives you some pretty uneven choices. More often than not my success was pre-determined if I got one of two high powered parties (the ones with a Tier 2 character).
Given how quickly saw all the available groups (how often I see the same names) I really wonder if I'm actually seeing other people or if they just have a bunch of pre-made NPC groups on a rotation. (Especially as some of them have classes almost nobody should have access to yet. But i imagine they *could* be beta testers or others with early access.)
Rare loot has a pretty low drop rate. Just Rare loot seems to be <1%. To say nothing of the Rare+, Ultra Rare, UR+, Legendary, or Legendary +.
You need to grind a LOT to get gear sufficient to advance after a couple days. If not for the Very Rare power you get for signing up early the game would be much, much more difficult and much less playable. After the play I've put in, getting Rare loot isn't even much of a perk as I've been able to fuse so many Commons the Rare loot is inferiour to much of what I already have.
The game really seems based around popping on at the same time every day and doing the daily quests that pop up around then for a little extra reward. So instead of grinding again and again over the day you do a little every day at the same time. So it's the lunch break or bus ride game.
I have been playing for a few days now and once I got past the initial disappointment that it really isn't D&D I have found the game fun. I will definitely agree with The_Jester that the game doesn't feel fully fleshed out and the instructions for how to use the power fusion especially is very incomplete. I play and have played a number of Mobage games and most seem to come out in a very basic state then new features get added along the way. I am hoping that's the case with this one.
One thing I can say is if you use all the base characters and play the numbers game to manage your energy you can play pretty much non-stop for awhile. You spend some of your energy to level up character classes that unlock tier 2 classes but make sure to leave enough energy to level up another low level character. Then your energy gets replenished and you repeat the process. It takes a little thought and planning but definitely beats waiting for the timer or paying for pots.
If anybody wants to try it out you can use my Friend Invite Code of sLMj6g to get a free rare card and power boost. You can find me in game under the name Astartes.
Also, there is another forum dedicated to the game that has more information here: http://forums.appsgoer.com/forumdisplay.php?168-D-amp-D-Arena-of-War