Stormfall: Age of War
Stormfall: Age of War is a browser-based MMO strategy game set in the kingdom of Darkshine. The game features castle building, resource management and PvP warfare under the guidance of Lord Oberon, protector of Stormfall. The game has a top-down isometric camera angle and retro 2D graphics.
Type: Browser Strategy MMO
Release Date: November 1, 2012 (International)
Pros: +Huge community. +Solid narration. +Good interface.
Cons: -Cash shop sells power. -Retro graphics may not appeal to everyone.
Stormfall: Age of War Overview
Stormfall: Age of War is a 2D strategy MMO (MMORTS) available on internet browser. Build your own medieval base, upgrade structures, and use those structures to attract units. Military units can raid enemy bases, defend your own base, and be used to participate in group warfare thanks to the game’s League system. Completing objectives tasked by Lord Oberon lead you through the beginning of the game and act as a long tutorial. The game has a top-down isometric camera angle and retro 2D graphics.
Stormfall: Age of War Key Features:
- Browser Based – browser based empire building strategy game with focus on PvP.
- Strong Voice Acting – fully voiced-acted sarcastic narrator named Lord Oberon.
- Top-down Isometric Camera Angle – retro Age of Empires 2 style top-down isometric graphics.
- Real Time Interface - game runs on real time interface.
- League System – league system that allows players to particpate in group warfare.
Stormfall: Age of War Screenshots
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Stormfall: Age of War Review
By Margo Sikes
Stormfall: Age of War is a free-to-play (F2P) 2D browser-based multiplayer strategy game developed and published by Plarium, an Israeli gaming company. The game was officially launched on November 1, 2012 on Facebook, although it is playable on other websites. There is also another version of Stormfall available on mobile called Stormfall: Rise of Balur, which launched in early 2015.
The game is set in a kingdom named Darkshine, which was previously occupied by the massive and great empire of Stormfall. With only its remnants left in the world, your task as lord/lady is to rise up and strategically craft a stronghold that will lead you to a new era of the Stormfall Empire with you on its throne. You can join forces with a League to cooperate with other lords and smash the evil Hordes of Balur, working together to regain the glory of the past.
In a similar vein to other games of the browser-based MMORTS games, players begin as lord or lady of a small city under the guidance of a narrator; in this case, the fully voice-acted Lord Oberon. Initially, they are tasked with building from the build menu. However, players eventually move onto different aspects of the interface such as combat, fortification, and unit recruitment. Pop-ups and glowing icons serve to guide the player through the game with quest-style progression and serves to help beginning players get used to the feel of the game. Upon completion, each quest rewards units, resources, experience, and occasionally Sapphire, which is the game’s premium currency that can be purchased with real world money.
Building Your Empire
To accomplish anything in Stormfall, players must build the prerequisite building. Each building is found under a tab that relates to its function which includes: Resource, Command, Military, Fortifications, Improvements, and Expansion. To interact with other players, for example, players need to build an Embassy which allows them to form alliances and establish relations for their benefit. Not all buildings are available from the beginning and must be discovered through the use of Lost Arts. The Lost Arts is a research tree that is expanded by using resources and scrolls, which are found by the Scribe, or bought with Sapphires in the Black Market. Buildings can only be constructed one at a time, unless the player opts to purchase a Craftsman with Sapphires, the premium currency. Buildings under construction cannot be cancelled once it has started which makes it important to pay attention to the completion time.
Resources are the primary source of currency to keep moving forward in the game and must be managed appropriately. Stormfall: Age of War has three main resources: Gold, Iron, and Food, which are produced by Townhouses, Mines, and Farms respectively. These act as the basic necessity for most actions including building structures and recruiting units. There are also some secondary resource types: Manarian Amulets, which are used to summon Vampire Units; Soulstones, necessary to train Vampire Units; and finally Sapphire, which is the premium currency that can be purchased with real-world money or acquired from quests.
Bolstering Your Ranks
Scrolls play an important role in Stormfall. Everyday, a player’s Scribe deciphers a scroll and allows the player to use the Lost Arts talent tree. This talent tree can be used to unlock new types of units as well as powering up old ones. Scrolls can be traded with other players if the player has a scroll they doesn't need or has the money to buy the scroll they want. They are used as currency to discover new buildings, war machines, and powerful units. Once the player decides upon a Lost Art to bolster or discover, they can use Boost Scrolls to speed up the rate of discovery. The time-based nature of the game promotes shorter play sessions and overall longer term play.
Stormfall: Age of War players can recruit three types of units to build their armies: offensive, defensive, and spy units. While out of combat, they are found either at the player’s Keep or hidden in the Catacombs to defend against sieges. Players can use their units to protect their castle and besiege and raid other castles. If they’ve joined a League of players, they can send reinforcements and coordinate campaigns for zone control. Depending on the unit’s statistics, they are either effective at Attacking or Defending, and can be split up as the player wants to keep their presence in multiple places at once. Their speed determines how quickly they reach and exit the battlefield. Finally, if they fall in battle, the player can revive units with Sapphires. Sapphires can also be used to purchase Legendary Units in the cash shop which gives an unfair advantage against non-paying players. As a result, this game falls under the category of pay to win.
Another fortification for player units is a special building called the Sanctum of Shards also helps the player’s units get stronger. Crystals drop in caches from various quests and feats, which can be opened in this building, revealing different stat bonuses that can be applied. Stat bonuses such as +2.5% defenses must be activated in the Cache, and can only be removed with a special item without destroying the crystals. Players can also combine crystals of the same type to create more powerful bonuses that apply to their units.
It's All About That PvP
Similar to other strategy games, raiding cities and settlements is an efficient way of acquiring resources. At any given time, players can have a maximum of ten Raid Points, allowing them to raid other players ten times. Once a player has less than ten RP, they will gain 1 RP every 2.5 hours until reaching the maximum again.
Like Sparta: War of Empires, players can lay siege to another player’s city. Besieging a castle allows players to occupy an enemy city and take part of their resource production. This means that they don’t have to raid them to get the same benefits. However, it is a dangerous strategy to go without allies as a new player because a besieged castle can be liberated as the player’s units become damaged. A player’s own castle is highly vulnerable early on as well, particularly if they are taking part in raids and sieges. Players should try joining a league early on to gain their protection. Other players are more likely to target loners than members of a League, who may send reinforcements to support their allies.
Join a League!
Joining a League allows players access to even more PvP content. Players can send and receive reinforcements with League members and can participate in League quests for significant quest rewards. After seven days of being in the League, the player can send reinforcements to Beacons and help their League’s influence on the Imperial Map. However, Beacons are often heavily guarded by other League’s reinforcements or by high level orcs. Once a Beacon is captured, the League must defend it from waves of Black Horde orcs, which drop Dark Essence. The Essence may be used to “darken” player's units, reducing their need to consume resources and increasing their effectiveness in combat.
Final Verdict - Good
Stormfall: Age of War is a fair addition to the browser-based strategy genre, though its pay to win aspect may make players less inclined to continue playing after hitting the higher levels. Its 2D, retro-styled graphics feel outdated but they don’t lack in charm. Some of the animations found in the home bases can be pleasant, and the character portraits are well-made. The user interface felt overwhelming and crowded initially but its collapsible menus made it more simple and easy to navigate. The voice-acting is well done but ultimately gets phased out as the game slows to a crawl past level 20. Fans of browser based strategy games may find something to like in Stormfall though!
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Stormfall: Age of War System Requirements
Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Equivalent
Video Card: Any Graphics Card (Integrated works well too)
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 100 MB (Cache)
Stormfall: Age of War is a browser based MMORPG and will run smoothly on practically any PC. The game was tested and works well on Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and Chrome. Any modern web-browser should run the game smoothly. The game is available on Facebook as well.
Stormfall: Age of War Additional Information
Developer: Inno Games
Release Date: ~November 1, 2012 (Worldwide)
Other Platforms: Facebook. Mobile App for iOS & Android also available as "Stormfall: Rise of Balur"
Development History / Background:
Stormfall: Age of War, or just Stormfall for short, was developed by Israeli-based game developer Plarium. Stormfall launched globally on October 30, 2012 and is localized in dozens of different languages. Plarium is well known for developing browser based strategy games. With over 1 million "likes" on Facebook, Stormfall is one of the most popular strategy games out there.