Champions of Regnum
Champions of Regnum provides a strong PvP experience by allowing players to fight over forts, castles, and even their own realms. Enlisting the help of NPC guards, and even dragons, players fight to take control of all six gems in order to be granted a wish by the golden dragon.
|Publisher: NGD Studios
Type: RvR MMORPG
Release Date: May 24, 2007
Pros: +Varied PvP options. +PvP is determined by skill rather than zerging. +Skill trees allow for diverse class builds.
Cons: -Clunky Interface. -Paying for a permanent mount is necessary. -PvE feels like an afterthought. -Long load times if experimental client feature is left on.
Champions of Regnum Overview
Champions of Regnum is a free-to-play, realm versus realm fantasy MMORPG created by the Argentinian developer, NGD Studios. In it, three realms remain at war around the clock as they attempt to take the others’ forts, ultimately aiming to invade their realm and reap the rewards. Players can choose between three basic classes that branch out into two disciplines each, and then further specialize through various skill trees. A small game world keeps the action focused and consistent. Open PvP between realms keeps players on their toes at all times, as the enemy can even break through into their home territory.
Champions of Regnum Key Features:
- Varied PvP options - take part in round-the-clock territorial wars, open PvP, or arena battles.
- Directly affect other realms - claim every gem for your realm, granting you a wish that can give your realm bonuses and negatively affect other realms.
- Diverse class builds with multiple skill trees - pick a discipline and then specialize it into one of several distinct builds.
- Level the way you want - gain experience through quests, grinding, capturing territory, or delivering letters for your realm.
- Light On System Resources - most modern computers should be able to run the game without issue, including Linux users.
Champions of Regnum Screenshots
Champions of Regnum Featured Video
Champions of Regnum Review
By, Matt Chelen
Often compared to Dark Age of Camelot, Champions of Regnum is a realm versus realm focused MMORPG. It was originally known as Regnum Online before it was rebranded Champions of Regnum in November, 2012, when the company announced that Regnum would be reaching version 2.0, bringing with it a new engine, improved graphics, a new GUI, instanced PvP, and invasions, among other things. Despite the upgrades, the game continues to have an aged, low-budget look and feel to it.
Regnum does not give the best first impression. There is an experimental client feature that is for some reason on by default, and upon starting the game and loading into the world you are forced to sit through upwards of fifteen minutes of downloads during the loading screen. This generally occurs after you have created your first character and are attempting to load into the starter zone but, the first time, it occurs before character creation, even. This experimental client also allows smaller downloads to occur during gameplay and, at the time of this writing, I was still experiencing them, often in areas I had already been through multiple times. All of this occurred after the full client was installed via Steam and one has to wonder what exactly it is attempting to download.
Once you do finally get into the game character customization is paltry. The game provides a few interesting race choices among the three realms, each of which has different races, some even appearing more humanoid than human, but, ultimately, you will get a similarly small amount of options to other free-to-play MMOs. You get a few choices among face, hair, and skin color but the choices are few.
Upon actually entering the game world for the first time you are met with a single quest marker, and a rather plain looking world. There’s a feeling about Regnum’s world that never quite left me. Everything feels distinctively small and the art style brings about this air of plainness that makes the entire world feel fairly drab. There are a fair few vistas throughout Regnum’s comparatively tiny world but none of them are particularly noteworthy. You’re met with the same uninteresting forms and structures throughout, all painted with the same color schemes that contribute to feelings of disinterest.
Unfortunately, the game will not be made more interesting by bustling questing areas full of players. The one time that I asked a question, my realm Syrtis had 13 people on. Alsius’ population was in the 20s, and Ignis’ population was unknown, but generally had the smallest number of players playing. Granted this was early morning EST time, the number is still quite low. The game’s community is small but dedicated. Those that do play appear to play for several hours a day, enough to take note of other realms’ daily schedules and plan invasions for when their numbers are low.
Regnum handles classes similarly to other MMORPGs but still allows a decent amount of customization. You are given a choice of three basic classes when you start the game up, each of which has two completely different specializations that you can choose from at level 10. For example, I played a mage. At level 10 you are given the choice of two disciplines. As a mage I was given the options to specialize as a warlock, which is the traditional heavy damage dealing mage class, or a conjurer, which is most easily compared to a “shaman” class, in that, depending on which branches of the skill tree you choose it is a healer class and/or a summoning class.
When you choose a discipline it is almost expected that you will respecialize skills. Players I talked to highly recommended completely different builds between when I played a mage and when I played a conjurer. Rightly so too, as the skill tree grew from four branches to seven with the move to a discipline. Fortunately, Regnum makes the skill respecialization process easy by charging you only 10 * [your level] gold to respecialize. Given you should have upwards of 15,000 gold by level 10 just from questing, you should have no problem paying that fee. This system allows you to constantly respecialize your class at minimal cost, rebuilding as necessary to suit your level and the amount of points available to you. It gives you the freedom to experiment with different builds without fear of being stuck with a build that doesn’t work.
Player Versus Environment
Regnum may be decidedly PvP and RvR focused but that does not mean that there is a lack of PvE. Like practically every MMORPG in existence before it, Regnum forces you to mindlessly work your way up the level scale until you are finally at a point where your build is viable for PvP. Unfortunately, practically everything about Regnum’s grind to the top is unbearable.
It is fairly fortunate that questing is not the best way to level in Regnum, because there are a number of elements that make questing painful. The overall interface in-game is fairly rudimentary and is made up of windows and buttons that aren’t themed for the game in the slightest, mostly making use of dull, rounded, translucent windows and a few colored buttons. Accepting quests is made difficult by the fact that you simply walk up to a quest giver, press “Quests,” and the quest giver proceeds to give you a quest. Should they have more than one quest, you will have to open a new dialogue with the quest giver and press the “Quests” button multiple times. Should you be turning in a quest right before picking another quest up from the same quest giver, you will have to close the turn-in window and open a new dialogue with the quest giver to pick up a new quest. The latter will not be an issue too often, as you are often simply left without a quest or any hint as to who may have the next one, occasionally being required to grind out the last bit of experience to level before another one will open. But the lack of this simple bit of automation makes questing feel that much more tedious.
The tedium is further amplified by the fact that, for a grand majority of the quests you are given, you will be running halfway across the region you are in to kill this, collect that, or simply visit an area, only to run all the way back to hand it in. At the beginning it is common to spend more time running back and forth to quest objectives than on the quest objectives themselves. To make matters worse, many quest markers seem to be marked on the map poorly, ultimately leading to quite a bit of wandering around the vicinity of a marker as you try to find what was marked.
The alternative to questing, grinding, is not all that much more appealing. While levels are gained significantly faster by grinding in lower levels, more so if you can find a player that has hit the level cap to help out, mobs are distributed poorly. Instead of giving you the mob’s level, Regnum gives you the classic indicator of “easy, normal, hard, challenging, etc,” with the greatest amount of experience coming from mobs with red names, whereas mobs with purple names, labeled “Impossible,” will not give you experience until they are brought down to red. At any given point, in an area that is designed for a character in your level bracket, you will find maybe three reds, three oranges, five yellows, and a smattering of either purples or mobs that are too far below you. For the best effect you end up spending a lot of time picking and choosing mobs, going back and forth across the area you have chosen as you wait for those you just killed to respawn. Mobs are not generally aggressive, though, so you can pick and choose as much as you would like, even in areas thick with mobs, without fear that you will attract a horde.
There is, however, one more alternative called “lettering.” You can do quests for your realm, some of which include killing hundreds of one specific type of mob or collecting dozens of a specific item dropped by a certain type of mob. You can only have one at a time, though, and the greatest rewards for time put in come from letter-delivering quests, making “lettering” a common manner of leveling. At level 16 it will only take three or four runs to reach the next level, which, despite being nothing but running back and forth, many players may find incredibly boring. But it is still better than either of the other alternatives mentioned before.
Of course, instead of saving said drops for quests you can sell them. Unlike most MMORPGs, due to the nature of realm quests, Regnum does not distinguish between quest items and “normal” items. The problem is that thanks to the UI, selling these items is even more painful than questing. To sell an item you have to talk to a merchant, “enter the store,” click on the “Sell” tab, and then painstakingly drag each item you want to sell, one by one, clicking the “Sell” button after each one. Yes, only one item, or stack, can be sold at a time. For stacks you have to be careful, because the dialogue that asks how many you want to sell defaults to zero.
Player Versus Player
Before I get into details about Regnum’s PvP there are a number of rumors I have heard. I have heard, assuming that you are playing one-versus-one, that the player who chains skills together correctly will win every time. I have heard that “skill beats zerg.” I have heard, more specifically, that with a well-organized and skilled unit of players you can win with roughly 50% less players than the other side. I was not able to confirm any of these for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact that I spent the majority of my time in Regnum as a healer.
Regnum has a variety of PvP modes. The most prevalent form of PvP is the realm versus realm combat that happens between the three realms inside the “warzone,” which is situated in the center of the world map, beyond the walls of each realm’s territory. There are several forts scattered around the warzone that can be fought over by players.
Beyond taking over forts in the no man’s land that is the warzone, players can also invade other realms’ territory by taking their walls, with the ability to enlist the help of dragons for greater rewards. In the process of invading players can also make an effort to take gems, which, once collected by a single realm can be used to visit the golden dragon, who then grants that realm a wish. These wishes are voted on by the entire realm and tend to be along the lines of an experience or gold bonus for the realm who got the wish, with a complementing penalty for other realms or a bonus item for everyone in the realm.
This war goes on around the clock as players attempt to take all of a realms’ forts before moving in for an invasion. It’s an intense and unrelenting battle for territory. Due to the small playerbase the war isn’t quite as intense and unrelenting as a game like Planetside 2. And returning to battle upon death will take a while, having to run all the way back from the nearest altar that you have hopefully bound yourself to in advance. But it is intense and unrelenting, nonetheless.
A Different Sort of War
The sort of war that takes place in Regnum is a bit different from what you may be used to. Well-defended forts take a significant amount of effort to overtake, having to take down NPC guards, the door, and other players in an effort to reach the fort’s flag to capture it. As one realm repeatedly makes an effort to make their way into a fort and another realm defends, it is not uncommon for the third realm to sneak up behind the attacking realm and take out their ranged units and healers. From the very moment I stepped into the warzone I watched the tides of battle turn repeatedly due to interference from the third faction, from players logging into different characters that might be better suited to the battle at hand, and other, similar factors.
PvP also requires a balance to be struck among its participants. My realm, Syrtis, is archer-heavy and it shows on the battlefield, as the tanks are usually left to die alone while the grand majority of the nation scatters when reinforcements arrive. There’s a joke among their ranks that Syrtis can never decide on what to do and that in battle they will commonly split up, but their class distribution also underlines the fact that a well-balanced team does much better than one that leans heavily towards a specific class.
Despite being largely based in the “holy trinity” standard for MMORPGs, the dynamic is a bit different than other games. A single healer cannot outheal the damage being done to one tank, and multiple tanks are necessary to have a chance at winning a battle. Because of this, the healer’s job is usually to make sure that the right players survive just a little bit longer to minimize loss, rather than to outright keep those players alive indefinitely. This dynamic also creates an environment in which healers are useful in PvP as early as level 15, a mere quarter of the way to the level cap of 60. They will be squishy and die within a few hits, mind you, but if you want to enter the battlefield as fast as possible the healer is one of the better options. Most other classes have to grind their way to level 30 in order to be viable in the warzone.
Much to my dismay, making it to PvP viability doesn’t exempt you from the grind. You can earn experience in the warzone, most of which will come from capturing forts, but it is not a lot. In order to get the experience you have to capture the fort within a specific amount of time, represented by three separate timers, and the experience given is only about half of what you would get from the average letter quest while taking significantly more time. The war I took part in gave me a mere 3,200 experience over the course of two hours, whereas I could have received 7,000 experience in ten to fifteen minutes instead.
But Is It Pay to Win?
Being both a PvP-focused game and a free-to-play MMORPG it would be fair to be cautious of the cash shop. From everything I have read, heard, and investigated myself, Regnum is not pay-to-win. There are several mounts and cosmetic items that trade one stat for another in a manner of fair trades, each trading specific stats that I am assuming have been carefully chosen, so as not to ruin the balance of PvP. Everything else appears to be there for convenience.
Actually, I have discovered that the best gear in the game seems to be obtained through grinding at the end game. One example is maganite weapons, which, according to the Wiki are obtained by scouring the world for 15,000 pieces of maganite, used to create 15 maganite ingots, paying 20,000,000 gold for a “Matrix,” and completing a quest. Maganite is fairly rare and is regularly traded for around 100,000 per piece. This grind cannot be skipped by throwing money at the game.
There is quite a bit of debate as to whether or not the game’s “lucky boxes” can be considered pay-to-win, as they provide some high-level jewelry that alters your stats significantly, but most of the arguments do not seem to stick well. It appears that most, or all, of these items can be obtained without paying but the process will be significantly slower.
There is always a stipulation, though. If you want to play for more than a week, you will need to spend real money to buy a mount. Any kind of travel, questing, and lettering especially, will become much more time consuming without one. The world may be fairly small when compared to other MMORPGs, but your character also moves extremely slow, making mounts almost a necessity. The one you get at the beginning only lasts a week. Should you want to obtain a permanent mount the only options are to purchase one with real money or to go through what I have heard is an insane grind, considering you only get a mount out of it, a task I never bothered with.
Final Verdict - Fair
Despite drawing upon Dark Age of Camelot for inspiration, many of Camelot’s fans have already cast their eyes down upon Regnum in the past. Going into the game expecting an heir apparent to Camelot will likely leave you disappointed. The game has a fantastic realm versus realm experience going for it and, as others have said, “the forever war is still going” in Regnum. Unfortunately, the game’s positives start and end at realm versus realm. Questing is tedious, the UI is clunky and does not provide even the simplest of niceties, and just about every way to level up is a massive grind that feels like a massive grind. The graphics are dated, the world is small and uninteresting, and the spell effects are not particularly impressive. To top it all off, what appears to have been an attempt at a “streaming client” will not stop streaming downloads to my client, requiring me to wait upwards of fifteen minutes every time I load the client up. Those looking for a world of near non-stop PvP may find what they are looking for here, and the PvP experience certainly is fun, but Regnum will be a hard sell for everyone else.
Champions of Regnum Videos
Champions of Regnum Links
Champions of Regnum System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
CPU: Pentium 4 1.8GHz or Athlon XP 1700
Video Card: Shader Model 2.0 and 256 MB RAM: nVidia GeForce 6600 or ATI 2600
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 4 GB
Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
CPU: Core 2 Duo E4400 2.0GHz or Athlon X2 Dual Core 4200
Video Card: Shader Model 4 and 1024 MB RAM: Nvidia GeForce GT 240 or ATI Radeon HD5700
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 4 GB
Champions of Regnum is Mac OS X and Linux compatible.
Champions of Regnum Music & Soundtrack
Champions of Regnum Additional Information
Worldwide Release Date (Regnum Online): May 24, 2007
North America Open beta (Realms Online): May 3, 2011
Worldwide Release Date (Champions of Regnum): November, 2012
Steam Release Date: February 27, 2013
Development History / Background:
Champions of Regnum was developed by the Argentinian studio NGD Studios, who were inspired by Dark Age of Camelot. It was released to Spanish-speaking players on May 24, 2007 as Regnum Online. It was later licensed for an North American release by GameSamba, released as Realms Online, and a German release by Gamigo in 2011. Regnum Online and Realms Online were relaunched as Champions of Regnum in November, 2012 with a new engine, improved graphics, a new GUI, instanced PvP, and invasions. In 2013, the international server and the US server run by GameSamba were merged, after which GameSamba ended its involvement with the title.