Seven Kingdoms (computer game)

Infobox VG
title = Seven Kingdoms


developer = Enlight
publisher = Interactive Magic
distributor =
designer = Trevor Chan
engine =
version =
released = November 30, 1997
genre = Real-time strategy
modes = Single player, Multiplayer
ratings =
platforms = Windows
media =
requirements =
input =

"Seven Kingdoms" is a real-time strategy (RTS) computer game developed by Trevor Chan of Enlight Software. The game enables players compete against up to six other kingdoms allowing players to conquer opponents by defeating them in war (with troops or machines), capturing their buildings with spies, or offering opponents money for their kingdom. The "Seven Kingdoms" series went on to include a sequel, '. In 2008, Enlight released a further title in the Seven Kingdoms series, '.

Gameplay

"Seven Kingdoms" made departures from the traditional real-time strategy model of "gather resources, build a base and army, and attack" set by "Command & Conquer". The economic model bears resemblance to a turn-based strategy game than the traditional "build-workers, and harvest-resources" system in games such as "Warcraft", "StarCraft", and "Age of Empires".

The game features an espionage system that allows players to train and control spies individually, who each have a spying skill that increases over time. The player is responsible for catching potential spies in their own kingdom. Inns built within the game allow players to hire mercenaries of various occupations, skill levels, and races. Skilled spies of enemy races are essential to a well-conducted espionage program, and the player can bolster his or her forces by grabbing a skilled fighter, or give oneself factories/mines/towers of science a boost by hiring a highly skilled professional. For instance, having a skilled Persian general can make capturing and keeping a Persian village much easier.

The diplomacy system within in the game is akin to a turn-based game allowing players to offer proposals to another party in which they are able to choose either to accept or reject them. Each kingdom has a reputation and one suffers a penalty for declaring war on a kingdom with a high reputation - making the player's people more likely to rebel, and more susceptible to bribery. Diplomatic actions include making war, proposing an alliance or friendship treaty, buying food, exchanging technologies, offering tribute/aid and forging trade agreements. A ranking system allows all players to gauge the relative military and economic strengths of their allies and enemies, making alliances against the stronger players a natural option.

Cultures

The game allows players to choose seven different cultures to command. Players can choose between the Japanese, Chinese, Mayans, Persians, Vikings, Greeks, and Normans. Each culture has its own weapons and fighting styles. Each culture can also summon its own "greater being", each having different powers.

Fryhtans are fictional beasts that hoard treasure and hold "scrolls of power", objects that enable you to summon greater beings. They are quite powerful, and have been known to offensively attack kingdoms.

Interactive Magic later released a free patch that added three new cultures, the Egyptians, the Mughuls and the Zulus, and a new war machine, called the Unicorn. The game was re-released under the name "Seven Kingdoms: Ancient Adversaries" with this patch included.

Strategy

What sets "Seven Kingdoms" apart from other strategy games is that there are many ways to play. For instance, the goals can be economic, military superiority, territorial conquest, or even Frytan fighting abilities. Individual or group players can form alliances with either other players or the computer's players. There are a variety of tactics that can be used to achieve a victory. The best way to discover them is to play harder levels against the video game's AI or computer.

The AI can be merciless. For instance, if the number of mines are reduced in a level V game, one or more computer controlled kingdoms will attack the human player's mine if one is built during the first few minutes of the game. Other times, if a player's military might drops, the other controlled kingdoms will demand tribute, break their alliances or declare war.

It isn't unusual for the computer controlled kingdoms to begin destroying all vestiges of a kingdom that is being defeated. This can add tension when a king's military is wiped out, all villages are captured, and funds are low. The game does provide ways of recovering for those who refuse to concede the game to the computer. One of those ways is to find an isolated island to begin rebuilding. Unfortunately, sometimes the computer will pursue the player before an adequate defense can be funded and rebuilt.

Loyalty

Villages within each kingdom have taxes collected whenever a village's average loyalty reaches a certain level. The game allows the player to automatically tax a village at any multiple of 10 between 40 and 100. If a village (or any other unit) has loyalty below 30, there is a risk of rebellion. Normally, a village's loyalty can be determined by a number of factors including the number of races living in the village, the leadership and race of any generals/kings in any forts near the village, the presence of enemy generals/kings can decrease the loyalty of your village while friendly ones have the opposite effect, availability of jobs and goods, and the player's reputation.

In addition, the player can temporarily increase a village's loyalty beyond the nominal level, (the increase is roughly 10 units), granting it funds, and whenever the player taxes the village it's loyalty decreases (again by 10 units). The rate at which loyalty returns to normal is determined by the difference between the current loyalty and the nominal loyalty. So, if the tax setting on the game is set at 40 and a village's nominal and current loyalty are at 100, then loyalty will drop very quickly to 30 and increase at a relatively quick pace from 30 to 40, and cycle between those values. However, if the player then sets the tax rate to 100, loyalty will increase from 30/40 to 100 at a gradually decreasing rate, and subsequently cycle between 90 and 100 at a more sedate pace. The player will earn more revenue over a given period of time if he or she sets his/her tax rate to 40. Most importantly, the player's nominal loyalty is subject to rapid spikes. If the player's reputation drops because he/she kill civilians, declares war, loses a spy, or if the village is attacked, then the player will see a sudden drop in current loyalty, which could easily put the player under the rebellion threshold.

In the event of a king is being killed a replacement king with the same skill in leadership is needed. Otherwise, military and peasant loyalty can drop in the event the king is killed. The consequences of replacing the king with a less powerful one can be rebellion, susceptibility of villages and military units to spies, and increases the risk that soldiers outside of a fort will desert and change sides because of a drop in their loyalty in response to the replacement king. Training replacements and military leaders is time-consuming and expensive, which may explain why many players rely on military machines.

Raw materials

Raw materials are harvested from mines and then transported to factories. The resources are copper, iron, and clay which can be sold to the surrounding kingdoms. Both have a maximum capacity of 8 workers, and have a limit as to how many raw materials that can be stored. Initially, miners are more efficient than factory workers where a small number of miners should be able to keep an entire factory of 8 workers productive. Alternatively, a player could build several factories to process the output from a single full mine. Either way, one should watch raw material stocks and work to remove bottlenecks as they occur. Idle workers in a factory or mine incur an opportunity cost in terms of food they could be producing as peasants. Foreign workers must also be paid wages.

Combat characteristics

Each race has different combat characteristics.
*The Chinese have excellent melee, but incredibly poor ranged attacks which they receive at level 30.
*The Persians have excellent ranged attacks (from level 1) but poor melee.
*The Mayan have a very good melee attack.
*Japanese and Vikings have good melee and gain a special strike at later levels. These attacks do a good deal of damage, but have a cooldown period during which they may not be used.
*The Greeks have a good melee attack, and at later levels are able to use their shields to reduce arrow damage.
*The Normans have a good melee attack and are able to use shields at later levels. They also gain a good ranged attack at level 50.

In general, these differences are subtle, but noteworthy. If one recruits one's entire starting village of Chinese, and your opponent recruits his starting village of Persians,one has a good chance of victory. A troop of level 100 soldiers of any race, however, is a force to be reckoned with. The trouble is, they represent a significant investment of time. On the other hand, there are war machines. Ballistae are the most basic siege engines with low effectiveness, but catapults and cannons can be much more effective, provided they are researched. They have a fairly mediocre HP and defense, but they can deal large amounts of splash damage and, unlike soldiers, can be mass produced. Although they may be more costly, they don't permanently damage the player's economy by denying the player their most important resource, people, and they can't be bribed or betray the player. It is not uncommon to see a long game end with massive armies composed almost entirely of war machines engaged in combat.

ee also

*List of strategy video games

References

*"Seven Kingdoms II Strategy Guide", M. Knight, Prima Games, ISBN 0-7615-2208-5

External links

* [http://www.gamershell.com/download_8119.shtml 7KII demo download]
*moby game|id=/seven-kingdoms-ancient-adversaries|name="Seven Kingdoms (computer game)"
* [http://www.enlight.com Enlight Software]
* [http://7kfans.net 7k Fan Site]


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