City Building and War Combine in Watercooler’s Kingdoms of Camelot Facebook Game

Kingdoms of CamelotWhile the concept of city building on Facebook has been a growing genre, warring against other users has been one of the all time standards, and is perenially popular in role-playing games like Mafia Wars. A title that’s been out for half a year combines both battle and basic city building: Kingdoms of Camelot, developed by Watercooler.

Kingdoms of Camelot is similar in respect to the more lascivious browser-based fantasy title, Evony. Essentially, players are given a single, walled-in city and a fairly generous amount of land. Outside the city gates, players are tasked with the production of various structures needed to produce food, wood, stone, and ore (farm, sawmill, etc.). Like in a strategy game, these become the resources needed to build new buildings and train new units (more on that later). While it is some ways reminiscent of real-time strategy games like Age of Empires or early Warcraft titles, the play is asynchronous, like farming and mafia RPGs on Facebook. Perhaps we’ll see Civilization Network use similar elements when it launches later this year?

ProductionInside the walls, the game is more like a city builder app. Players must manage everything from taxes and happiness to defenses and might. It is hardly simple. Each building has a unique feature. If you build and upgrade cottages, then you get more population. If you build more taverns, you get happiness (which negates unhappiness caused by taxes – your source of gold). From here, it starts to get more into strategic and social features.

Feudal times are all about alliances, conquest, and invaders. However, in order to do anything in Kingdoms pertaining to these, one has to have the proper buildings. For example, without a market, you cannot trade resources with other users. Without an embassy, you can not form alliances, nor can you house friendly troops that come to aid you when under siege.

This actually becomes very important, as beyond the boundaries of your budding kingdom is a whole heap of wilderness. Mountains, hillsides, forests, barbarian camps, and rival cities. Broken up into a grid, each part of the world you conquer will add to the strength of your own lands. If you conquer a mountain, you earn a percentage boost to your ore production; a lake, food.

World MapOf course, this is only resource gathering. Empty plains can be expanded into for the creation of more cities under your name, but better than this, neighboring players can be raided and plundered!

This is where structures like a Knights Hall, barracks, and watch towers (defenses) come into play. What good is a kingdom without an army, anyway? Well, following tech trees similar to a real time strategy game, more powerful units require more highly upgraded buildings and range from simple militia and scouts to armored ballistas and supply wagons. This is where the game starts to slow down and gets a bit more complex.

It’s hard to know what one should build and how many, as most of the explanations on units are very general. All you really know is what is required to make them, which is generally upgraded buildings (and occasionally researched technology). Of course, as these get stronger, they take longer and longer to build. Now, there are items one can buy to make building faster, and when they start to take an hour or more, you can post to your Facebook feed and have friends click a link to “help” you build faster. Unfortunately, this only affects the speed, and doesn’t help too much in the instruction department.

QuestsKingdoms of Camelot has a metric ton of features going on and it is a bit overwhelming at first. Luckily, this is mitigated, slightly, by a Quests feature that has a list of things to do next, but even that is saturated with tasks.

Thankfully, this is an app that is truly heavy on the social elements. If ever you get confused, you can access the global chat (which is very active) and talk to everyone currently on the server. Also, even if they can’t clear up your questions, and you can’t build that epic army yet, you can recruit friends to your ranks as Knights to fight for you, who actually earn experience and grow stronger.

Beyond this, it is also worth mentioning that actually seeing your allies and enemies on the map is a wonderfully immersive element. It seems so insignificant when you think about it, but with them right there, where you can see them require aid or watch them burn… it adds something personal to the mix.

Truth be told, Kingdom of Camelot is a fantastically deep game that combines simple city-building elements with strategic combat, and frankly, contains far more features to it than this review can do justice for. Between long term alliances, all out wars between players, upcoming tournaments, and even a small, 2D virtual space (your “Court”) one can decorate using virtual currency, this is a game that may have a quick and confusing start, but has an extremely long term and in-depth finish. We expect good things from the future of Kingdoms and its 1.5 million monthly active users, and we can’t wait to grow just a little bit stronger.

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18 Responses to “City Building and War Combine in Watercooler’s Kingdoms of Camelot Facebook Game”

  1. Expense mileage says:

    I like your site you lots of information here keep it up.

  2. This Week’s Headlines on Inside Social Games says:

    [...] City Building and War Combine in Watercooler’s Kingdoms of Camelot Facebook Game [...]

  3. Karl Thomsen says:

    You really screwed up the game with your latest inventions that include suicidal troops – or maybe that’s just another one of those constant glitches. The kinda stuff that makes people stop playing.

  4. lady jacq says:

    bad customer service, buggy code and poor communication are my biggest gripes.

    the devs really need to consider the implications of better customer service and compensation for glitches.

    Better customer service means, more loyal players, more willing to part with their cash…. better cash flow for the game owners.

    Better coding would mean.. a smoother running game, less need for compensation, more cash rolling in to the Koc Coffers.

    Better communication would mean … less stressed players, more satisfied with the whole KoC experience… resulting in more cash rolling in for KoC

    are you beginning to understand ?

  5. z3r0acidk says:

    Lots of people will surely stop playing because of:

    communications sucks, player satisfaction is not considered, there is no compensation for inconvenience, sloppy adminstration of customer issues, non decision makers, buggy, sloppy code, repetitive issues with game.

    You’d better go back to work.

  6. More Big Gains For the Top Games On This Week’s List of Fastest Facebook Growers By MAU says:

    [...] With Mall World and Kingdoms of Camelot, we come to newer territory. Mall World is an incredibly girly game that was recently released. It purports to serve the estrogen market, and sure enough, a quick scan of a few hundred users reveals a 100 percent female userbase — there’s not even a way to create a male avatar. Camelot is a rather older game that recently began getting serious traction for its deep medieval strategy play. [...]

  7. dragonlady91 says:

    The developers of this game need to damn well do something about people being able to take wilds with 1 cav and 1 scout.
    I’m sick and tired of wasting my troops and might and then some idiot comes along and loses nothing taking it. It cost me lots of troops and might.
    THEY SHOULD LOSE THE SAME AMOUNT IF THEY WANT IT.
    THERE IS NO FAIRNESS IN THE GAME.
    IT IS NOT A GAME ABOUT TROOPS VS TROOPS ANYMORE AND IT IS PISSING PEOPLE OFF THE GAME.

    SORT IT OUT DEVELOPERS OR PEOPLE WILL BE LEAVING THE GAME IN DROVES.

    NOT DAMN HAPPY

    AND EACH TIME I EMAIL YOU, I GET AN AUTOMATED STUPID RESPONSE

    TREAT ME LIKE A HUMAN BEING AND ANSWER ME AS A PERSON.

  8. Castle & Co: Facebook City-Building Gets Medieval — and Cute says:

    [...] city-builder on Facebook has been the Facebook Connect enabled Evony and the equally complicated Kingdoms of Camelot. Of course, while there were city-building elements, the games were more oriented around strategy [...]

  9. Phoenixfire says:

    Reference to Kingdoms of Camelot. Never ceases to amaze me how a company forgets the little people. The Co. surely would like to see players spend money for enhancements. Ask your your selves with numerous complaints of glitches not being addressed, E-mail not being answered. Why should players spend money, when nothing is going to be done to improve the base quality of the game?

  10. karagungel says:

    hhhhh

  11. Franky says:

    To Dragon lady… why dont you leave troops to defend you wilds.. that’s what they’re meant to do… To you guys who whines too much… the game is still developing, still evolving and getting better… and just a reminder its still a beta game…

  12. Dena says:

    humm..a player who is also a developer sharing cheats with his alliance.. now how is this fair? If you are playing in Clarent against the HR.. apparently Anwin is a developer!!!

  13. Space Empires Gets Reborn on Facebook says:

    [...] a city-builder), rather only on sections of terrain that are dubbed free plots of land, similar to Kingdoms of Camelot or Evony. In fact, Space Empires could in part be described as a sci-fi rendition of these popular [...]

  14. Zenedra says:

    Como puedo pedirle ayuda a mis amigos para construir si no tengo habilitada ese boton?

  15. Daniel says:

    Judging by the previous comments left in this forum, I would be wasting my time added my two cents worth about poor customer service. It has gotten so bad in the Rhon domain that entire alliances are talking of quitting the game. Whole cities are having glitches with marching. Reports work one day not the next. Its just a mess, and we are left in the dark on corrections in the works. At this time I am actively warning all face book friends and friends of friends of friends etc. not to use the game. And for gods sake do not spend money in the game as I have. Enough said.

  16. anwin says:

    actually i am not a developer.. i was a moderator.. and i did not share any glitches or bugs with my alliance.. i did do alot of bug testing tho as a good beta tester should.. lol.. i would not ever want to be a dev. for koc.. too many things to fix.. i feel sorry for them.. haha

  17. Browser Based Game Ikariam Breaches 1 Million Users Through Facebook says:

    [...] only major difference between this game and, say, Kingdoms of Camelot, is that there are no resource structures for the player to worry about early on. Instead, users [...]

  18. Kimm says:

    KoC has the potential of being a fantastic game. The biggest fault of this is the current state of mind by the developers, Kabam.

    They claim it is free to play and yes indeed you can log in and build your cities but in order to get ahead you can count on spending money and lots of it.

    The game is full of known bugs and issues and rather than concentrating on fixing the core issues, like most games they ignore those and continually add new content. This concept really confuses me. The game is a great idea and if they would take the time to fix what is there and then add new content the players would be much happier.

    They sell items in the game which I do not disagree with, they need to cover their own costs in developing the game and staffing people to support the game. However, the prices for these items are outrageous and they have made it so you can’t simply just purchase some items you need, they split items up into different packages to force you to purchase WAY more than you need or could use. An example of this would be the chests for crests and seals needed to build additional cities.

    You can hunt for these crests by attacking wilderness or Dark Forests however, the drop rate on the crests is so extremely low that you simply become frustrated and the end result is you don’t want to play.

    So here is where they get you, you can purchase these chests to get the crests and seals but the chests cost up to 350 gems which is around $35. When you get the chest you only have a chance of getting the items you need. It will give you a random number of the items in the chest and you can’t get all the items you need from a single chest, you would have to purchase two different kinds of chests or spend around $70 and up to purchase the city deed.

    This my friends is simply greed and it is insulting to think that the player base does not know this. If they were smart they would lower their prices, sell items separately and they would increase their sales dramatically.

    The up sides to this game is the people who play, you get involved with alliances and meet some great gamers and get to learn strategy and battle your opponents. Building the cities and your troops can be a complicated process but it is also a part of the charm of the game itself. What is needed is a new developer for the game, one who will listen to the players and fix the issues before adding new content to create more issues.

    They need to hire competent support staff that actually listens to the issue before making a determination that has nothing to do with the problem you reported. Should they read the incident reports clearly the first time around then they would be able to respond quickly and accurately rather than wasting their time and yours.

    This is my own opinion of the game from my own experiences from playing for quite some time. I only stay to play because of the people I play with.

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