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Xhodon PBBG

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  • Xhodon PBBG

    New webgame came out I'm really diggin. I'll just cut/paste a few writeups I posted on other sites.

    [read entire thread before following links]

    "Bigpoint" (uber German browser-game company) has devved another award-winning pbbg called "Xhodon" that's so far to me looking to be pretty promising. The game opened a few weeks ago.

    You're basically an omnipotent Magi (either Shadow or Light) who controls powerful Heroes of varying races/classes, which in turn control minions of their own (which you buy, earn, etc.). You use these heroes/minions plus whatever power you can muster to defend your realm or attack others, or complete npc quests. You start off as a newbie and as such are under newbie protection, which I believe means you cant be attacked by PCs until you've reached a certain point value. Also which means you cant use items or improve your Magi directly. This is something I like because this game is a bit tougher to swallow whole as soon as you log in. They give you plenty of time to perfect your character/realm along with plenty of tutorial quests (that arent half bad) with lots of rewards to get you started.

    I havent obviously gotten past newbie protection so I cant speculate on the game further (it's basically an entirely different experience), but I digress.

    You have your typical empire management elements wherein you must conjure and improve various artefacts, buildings, etc. These are all presented in your own personalized graphical realm, which is actually quite pretty. The artwork overall in this game is well done btw. Anyways, the kicker is the game is "tick based" which basically means there are turns. Each lasts 5 minutes. What's interesting about it is you can vary the amount of Mana you use to conjure with, so something that only takes 1 tick to conjure (btw, u can conjure at the end of a tick and still finish the build) can be stretched out for less cost by applying less mana, which in turn lengthens the build time (great for offline work). Mana in this game, from what others have told me so far, is the most precious thing there is. It's the only thing that cant be bought or sold, it has to be earned. So learning how to manage it is an interesting metagame in itself. Being able to control the damned speed of build is a nice touch that really makes the game quicker if needed while simultaneously rewardign those who act decisively.

    Moving on, the Hero part of the game is pretty interesting as well in that they have levels of their own and points that can be allocated to effect their stats. Of course, you need certain resources for this to happen. Also, you can program your Hero(es) to defend a certain way while you play or are offline. As said, these Heroes then in turn have a certain synergy with the minions you assign to it, which can be (un)loaded any way you see fit. A nice touch is these heroes are also nameable.

    Friend/Guild aspect: When you enter the game you're automatically given a location in a Valley you're charged with defending. You can then invite friends and reserve slots for them right next to you, which in turn will become apprentices to you. This all feeds into a "family tree" which directly effects your "Tree of Life" which of course gives you Mana. The better your apprentices do, the better off your Tree is. Furthermore, if you have a Guild, you share bonuses based on this... not to mention the ability to collectively attack/defend areas. If you join a guild that's not of your alignment, you're also aloud to switch for free (once). This UI is probably the most robust of any PBBG I've ever seen. It has extensive profiles for every player, which are very customizeable. Stats and rankings of all types are available to look at and even guestbooks that you can write in to "bring the tears" on your opponents. I find it interesting that it also logs who LOOKS at your profile, which obviously is an interesting tool. There's a full-on Chat UI built in with channels along with a very robust messaging system (inbox, outbox, etc.) Friends list, battle log, and on and on.

    The Map: The map is very well represented and you can basically search for anything your "Mad Eye" can see. The Mad Eye is basically how far outside your realm you can see; i.e. a fog-of-war. The higher its level, the further you can see. This gives you advanced warning of other players' attacks as well as the movements of your own elements and your guild's, along with NPC locations. The map is fairly large, but given the ability of being able to reserve slots nearby for your friends it's not bad. You can also build new palaces at any free location, so you're not locked into any one spot technically... although your main location will always be-so.

    Itemization: You dont get into itemization until you leave the newbie zone, but apparently it's fairly deep. How deep is a big "?" Also, there's a crafting element largely to-do with potion making that's also not available until after the newb. zone. Skillsets arent available either until after the newb zone.

    Might: As I said, this game tracks nearly every part of what you do. In this section, you can sift through who's the best at whatever or who the up-and-comers are. When you first join the game, you're put into a "League" and your ranking(s) within that league go towards if you get rewarded at the end of the month. (runes, mana, etc.) Once that month is up, you switch to whatever League you're qualified to be in and the process starts again. Obviously, this along with newb. protection, keeps older players from ruining it for newer ones and gives newer players something to strive for.

    The Bazaar: Obviously there's an economy to the game, but as usual it's only available once you get past newbland. In the time being though, you can teleport resources between palaces along with trading runes/pearls with friends. Teleportation is a nice touch... since distance will largely only effect Heroes/minions and not resources.

    Conclusion: That's all I've got for now (getting late). Overall, it's a pretty well presented game with just about every bell and whistle one could need. It's chunky enough but not too hard to grasp, but most of the chunk is just related to the amount of info. available to you. Even still, the tutorial questline is very well done so anyone can pick this up easier than even a game like The West. You can play a little or a lot, with or w/o friends. It's perdy to look at so no issues of staring at spreadsheet games. You've got plenty of pvp goodness along with pve distractions. My only beef is that they might've went too far with the Fantasy-magic trope. It can get corny at times, but at least not to the point of immaturity. Some is probably lost in German translation also. Perhaps I'll find more crap wrong with it but for now it's okay... what happens after Newb Protection might be another story though.

    The links below are to be placed in valleys next to mine (on the sole English server). Obviously, you'd want to eventually put up your own links (u can do 3 at a time) for others to use to expand the Family Tree and keep things close. If you're interested in playing, this of course is the best way to collectively steamroll a map for a variety of reasons. I've got enough runes now to start a Guild and have done-so. "Bat Country" is the name.

    Valley: 4 Link:
    Valley: 10 Link:
    Valley: 5 Link:

    and yes, this pyramid (tree of life) scheme is quite evil

  • #2
    Re: Xhodon PBBG


    The strat. elements are more abundant in this game than most other quality pbbgs out there (unless you like spreadsheet games; btw, I'm not experiencing any clunkiness on IE8). Yes, it's not as apparent in what/how you build your resources (it's just standard you need "x" for "y" stuff). But exactly how you spend your resources is more of a factor. Also, there are many structures that are buff-oriented and dont generate resources at all. Is that not a strat. choice as well? I'd say you have to think quite a bit more here than a game like Kings Age or Tribal Wars, etc. In those games, you just chunk resource-buildings and build armies and that's it. Whoever has more, wins. In this game, you're given many more ways to attack through building choices. But I agree, it'd be nice if there were more buildings and more reasons for them. For that, you'd need a space-empire game.

    Heroes are effectively extra characters in this game. As you upgrade your resources and gain enough Statue levels, you collect more and more. Each has a function they're good/bad at, as you say, largely dependent on their base mods which are all maleable as they gain levels (meaning, it's up to you what they're good at). There are a few that are recommended for the beginning player, and pretty much if you pick a Warrior you'll probably bleed more minions than you can produce. And as I said, they're defensively programmable. Later on in the game obviously all of this becomes more important. You want certain heroes on the offensive with certain minions, others to carry resources, others to defend the palace, etc.

    Minions themselves are a pretty important strat. element. There's a LOT of them, each with different requirements to be built (and it's not a linear progression, you actually just have to choose ahead of time). All of these minions have basic strengths/weaknesses towards other units along with varying SPEED (your horde will only move as fast as your slowest minion)... so you have to choose wisely when you send them out. Ideally, you'll know your opponent(s) before you do anything. And since they (the minions) take on the traits of their heroes, this adds another layer to a typically bland element within most pbbgs. i.e. send 1million archers against his 1million squires and roll dice, that's it.

    Runes are the penultimate strat. decision in that you turn on certain types of magic as you say, as well as the standard faire of "Features" all browser-games have to survive. This one is different in that there's a LOT of choices and many have a direct strat. effect on your game. Also, runes are EARNED. You dont have to buy them, unless you want to quicken your play.

    Production times for many of the resources are understandably long, mainly because there's no limit to how much you can make (unlike other games which require another building to hold all your crap). Since there's a Trade element the smartest players will focus on certain resources and trade for the rest in large chunks (at a cost of runes). It's a balancing act because obviously you cant cast magic if you're concentrating on resource production via trade. Also, a HUGE chunk of resource gathering is actually going out and farming it with your warbands... send your heroes out and keep them out until they're overloaded with crap. Even better, create large warcamps that tear up the landscape and then have the Pegasus (which cant be attacked) with carts pick up all the pieces in trail. This way you're not wasting travel-time and you've got a faster mode of xporting resources (since your Gobbies [if you're using them] only move 4TPA [ticks per area]).

    The only elements I've yet to really grok (because I'm still newb) is the itemization and how strong it is, crafting, and the significance of Artefacts and the control of them (which apparently give strat. bonuses). The premise behind the items is interesting because obviously you can wear whatever you find whenever you want, meaning you can utilize the buffs they provide depending on your current strat. This adds yet another layer to gameplay (as usual, there are item sets that give xtra bonuses also). The Artefacts look to be basic flashpoints for people/guilds to war over for control, which adds yet another layer to play. Crafting I believe isnt fully implemented yet but the UI is there and you can pick up mats currently.

    Anyways, I'm not wholly defending the game but I do recognize and appreciate aspects of its design. I warned about the "corniness" (most high fantasy is inherently corny anyways). But in this case, it's not enough to cause me not to play and some people may actually like it. You can tell a lot is Lost in Translation though, as is the case with most German games.

    I'd say the biggest issue is it's a bit "much" for being a casual webgame. To be good you really have to dip a lot of time (and sure, a bit 'o money) into it and most people dont go for that in webgames; it's a fine line. This is why The West is so popular; its simplicity. But, if you like depth, corny fantasy, and more to do and more cooperative play with a high degree of persistence... then you'd probably like this game. I personally dont like pure text-based spreadsheet games, so I gravitate towards ones with similar features but are graphically more robust (even at the cost of browser performance).


    • #3
      Re: Xhodon PBBG

      updated valley links:
      Valley: 13 Link:

      Valley: 12 Link:

      Valley: 11 Link:




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