If you’re a fan of the popular Asian blockbusters like Hero, Couching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and House of Flying Daggers, then you’ve probably heard about the movie Red Cliff. The movie was released in China in 2008 and along with it a 3D MMORPG under the same hidden wiki link 2020 name. It could be said that Red Cliff is the Asian equivalent of the Lord of the Rings as it is based on one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature.
Just as the Lord of the Rings MMORPG (LOTRO) is set in a era of medieval overtones and molded to fit the lore and heroes in Tolkien’s classic masterpiece. The MMORPG that followed Red Cliff was molded to fit in with the historical significance of reality while at the same time embellishing the magic, sorcery, and amazing martial arts of a fantasy world.
Both the movie and the game were huge hits in Asian, and Perfect World has decided to translate the game from Mandarin and release their own version of Red Cliff in the West. The game has been renamed Heroes of Three Kingdoms and it is a historical 3D MMORPG produced on an epic scale. It was built using the Element 3D game engine, so the graphics are not going to blow you away, but they do present a great rendition of China in the 3rd century AD. As a player you are thrust into action during a great civil war, there are Three different kingdoms, the Wei, the Wu, and the Shu. Each one locked in a bloody struggle to unite china under one banner. This results in Player vs Player play that is meaningful and intricately woven into the story starting at level 40.
Wei possesses the largest population, a strong cavalry and is the most prosperous of the three kingdoms. Wu is ruled by the brilliant and ruthless, General Cao Cao.
Wu has control over the sea and an unmatched naval army. Wu has a strong economy and is led by warlord Sun Quan who is said to recognize upcoming talent amidst his ranks.
Shu has the weakest economy but the strongest defensive lands, sitting between the mountains. Led by royal idealist Liu Bei, Shu has five Tiger Generals (military experts) on her side.
The thing that makes the game truly unique is the weapon class system. The conventional system of choosing a class and being able to equip a few selected weapons, is replaced by choosing a weapon and that dictates your “class”. In Heroes of Three Kingdoms there are currently 12 weapon classes to choose from, but there are 18 total weapons that will eventually be released on Perfect World’s US servers.
The game itself can be split into three parts, the first part is a mixture of getting your character ready for large scale PvP while you strive for level 40. You’ll spend most of your time questing for titles that add extra bonuses to your character stats. But you will find a wonderful break in the classic quest system that asks more of you than to kill ten wolves. Some examples would be protecting cargo envoys, and going fishing for rare items. You can also complete quests for treasure and speed your idol time meditating on the rewards for experience. The unique and historical nature of the campaigns brings a players attention anyway from the tedium of leveling and invites the chance to work with others playing the game on a more strategic level. The quest system is very balanced, there is civil and military ranking system and numerous different daily and weekly event content that keep the game fresh and rich in diversity while getting a “feel” for the game play.
The second phase of the game starts at level 40, this is when you may choose one of the three kingdoms as your own, and begin to open up the PvP side of the game and begin to master your chosen weapon. You find when you are out questing you always need to be aware of those around you as PvP battles can take place anywhere other than the so-called “Safe Zones” which are usually located in the towns and cities. From level 40 to level 60 you will hone your weapon skills from master to guru and start accumulating higher ranks and titles within the kingdom you have chosen. You will also gain more access to the crafting system, making worthy relics and enchantments to add to your gear making you more powerful and efficient in combat.
From level 60 to level 80 you will begin to train a secondary weapon, begin to take a bigger role in the pivotal battles that determine territory for daily tax bonuses, reduced grocery prices, increased sales prices for NPC merchants and access to the fastest mounts. You may continue to train and master the different weapons earning permanent bonuses that allow you to be a master of the battlefield.
The game is free to play but it does feature a marketplace where you can gain items for double experience rewards. Also there is a large selection of fashion and items to have marriages inside the game, these also reward titles that allow you to become more powerful.
The game is as massive as the story, its a joy to play if your interested in martial arts or want to learn more about an elusive Asian history that has, for the most part, managed to remain concealed from most the western audience.