BattleForge is a rather unique MMORPG in that it is a card based game. The overall design of the game is somewhat of a mixture of a traditional card collecting RPG, such as Yu-Gi-Oh or Magic the Gathering and Warcraft style gameplay, and the end result is a fantastic game that has a huge fanbase. BattleForge, developed by Electronic Arts, has been popular for some time now, and when the company announced that it would provide a freeplay edition with surprisingly few limitations, interest certainly went up.
Players in Battleforge will find that the game offers both PvE (player versus environment) and PvP (player versus player) combat. This offers ample opportunity for unique experiences, and the leveling system helps keep the game from getting stale. There are tons of new cards to collect, some of which are incredibly rare. These cards summon everything from spells to units and buildings right onto the battlefield. There are also cards that can teach you new tactics, making you more effective in combat.
PvE combat is how you level in BattleForge. There are three different modes available while doing the game’s missions, or quests. Standard is the basic option, and you will find that a series of missions must be completed in this mode for advanced and expert versions to become available. All three modes offer gold, upgraded cards, and experience as rewards and will help you level through the game. While many missions can be completed solo, some require between two and twelve players to complete.
PvP combat is a great way to boost stats or even test out new cards. Players in BattleForge have the option for ranked or unranked PvP combat. With ranked PvP, the winning player receives gold, points, and tokens. The tokens are used to upgrade cards, while the points will boost your PvP level. Unranked PvP combat does not offer rewards, but helps players learn the mechanics of combat as well as to test new strategies and cards.
One great option in BattleForge is the ability to trade cards with other players. The freeplay version does offer restrictions on this, however. While paid players can trade directly with one another and can mail attachments and items via in-game mail, these features are disabled in the freeplay version. Players will also have to reach either level 4 in PvE combat or level 10 in PvP combat in order to use the in-game auction house to sell cards.
What helps make BattleForge different than other real time strategy games, besides the card collecting element, is the way that the game’s mechanics work. If you are familiar with the genre, then you are likely used to the need to create buildings to produce new troops and the need to constantly farm materials and gold. With BattleForge, however, it is different. You summon allies by gathering power from the various pylons located all over the game’s map. Your power will replenish at a rate dependent on how many pylons you currently control.
You will also find that you can access elemental shrines on the maps. You choose the color of the shrine based on the element in your deck or the element that you need most, and the color choice you make will play a large role in your ultimate success or failure. Claiming these pylons and shrines and defending them is essential to success in the game. The mechanics take a bit of getting used to for anyone used to more traditional RTS gameplay, but they certainly pay off and offer a fast paced and very exciting game.
The freeplay version of BattleForge works hard to strike a balance that keeps users from being too disadvantaged in the game. The company certainly works to provide benefits to those who choose to play, but strives to ensure that gameplay is still quite enjoyable for those who opt for the freeplay version. In addition to restrictions on trading, freeplay users will find that they often have to wait longer to earn the same rewards that many players purchase early on. It is possible to purchase major card upgrades even from the early stages of the game, but freeplay players will find that they can earn the same cards over time. PvP players will also find that combat against players with purchased boosts is much more difficult.
The Final Word
BattleForge is an incredibly fun game that offers a great twist on the standard RTS MMORPG. The card collecting basis offers a unique twist on gameplay that is much more fun than simply creating different classes. The number of available cards offers much more variety and helps ensure that every single fight is unique. Players will certainly enjoy the ability to constantly upgrade and to use new tactics as the situation calls for as they expand their in-game decks.
There are only two decks of 32 cards available initially for freeplay, but these decks can be expanded quickly through gameplay. Real money purchases are always an option, even for those who opt not to pay for the game itself, but everything available in the game is available to freeplay users with enough play time and dedication. The difference between the versions is incredibly slight, ensuring that it is still quite enjoyable. If you are looking for a unique MMORPG that offers more than the standard “WoW clone” fare, BattleForge may be exactly what you are looking for.