The Third Ageby Aethyna Sep 7, 2019 | 1 Votes | 84 Played | 0 Reviews
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The Third Age is a pretty typical MMO strategy game that uses a more modern gameplay formula, allowing for more real-time interactions between warring factions, and hence, players. Set in a world that was taken over by the Demon King, it is now up to you, the fabled lord who will finally bring an end to his evil reign, but first, you’ll need to gather up an army!
The Demon King’s army captured Fort Sagehelm, the core defensive structure on the continent, in the first spring of the Third Age, signifying the start of his oppressive reign of terror. However, pockets of resistance have sprouted throughout, recruiting heroic people, from veterans of war to peasants, who are willing to fight and die just to see the Demon King and his demonic army gone from their lands.
With the help from leaders of various other races, it’s the time to start your campaign of war to free your people and your home from the scourge that is the demonic horde!
In terms of gameplay, the Third Age features a pretty typical format that if you might be very familiar with if you’ve played any browser-based MMO strategy recently. You start off by choosing one of the three resistance factions you want to align with, namely the Watchmen’s Union, Blood Tribe, and Storm Empire. However, not much is provided in regard to the background for each of these factions and the reason why they are fighting against each other – probably of conflicting ideas? – rather than uniting against the demonic horde.
Being the lord of your people, you’re expected to build up your fief just so you can generate enough resources to fund your war campaign and recruit more soldiers for your army. The game offers several types of soldiers you can recruit at the Barracks and as you level the building up, you’ll unlock better versions of those very same unit types. I should also point out that the building process here can be a bit slow since you only have 1 building slot, but the game does help you fast-track your way through the early game by giving you free speed-ups (5-minutes is the cut-off point) and speed-up tokens.
Like any good general, you’d want your battalions led by capable commanders. In this game, you can recruit various heroes at the tavern as long as you’ve got the tokens they require. Most of the time though, you won’t get to recruit a “full” hero but rather obtain something called “hero chips” which can be combined to form a hero you can then deploy in your army when you’ve got enough chips. You’ll need the chips to upgrade heroes you already have.
Unlike your soldiers, upgrading heroes can be a tad bit more complicated. There are no “barracks” that you can level up for heroes; instead, you need to send them out to war and accumulate experience points (shared). These points can then be invested into individual heroes, the ones you want to use, to level them up. Leveling up your heroes will allow you to upgrade their skills to a much higher level – it’s all linked you see!
Not to mention, via the Heroes Trial dungeons, you can collect “crests” from the loot you get and these crests can be equipped onto your heroes to bolster their stats by a little. If you manage to collect all the crests needed, you can then “ascend” your hero’s crest which will grant your hero nice and more permanent stat bonuses.
There is also progression for your lord in this game. You’ll accumulate points by completing certain tasks under the Rank tab and once you’ve filled the meter, you can be promoted to the next military rank and hence, gain a bunch of stats.
Now, with your army and heroes at hand, it’s time to see some action! The world map is filled with cities and outposts that are controlled by one of the three factions. There are generally two main things you can do here – attack a rival faction’s city in hopes of capturing it for your faction, or take quests offered by cities under your faction’s rule and fight whatever enemy the demonic horde has sent your way to complete said quests. Either way, you’ll get a taste of action whether it is battling other defending players or the AI-controlled demons.
Combat in the Third Age is basically automated as you’d expect from a browser game. After arranging your heroes and the associated battalions they lead in your formation, there isn’t really much you can do when the fighting commences. Just enjoy the animation and wait for the outcome of the battle. There’s an option to speed up or to skip the battle animation entirely but to access those features, you’ll need to be a VIP first, which means you’ll need to sink some real money into the game.
However, at the end of the day, the ultimate goal that you should be focusing on is to amass a strong and large enough army to help your faction, by working alongside other lords/players within your faction and take the fight to the demons holding up at Fort Sagehelm in weekly organized battles. The faction that managed to capture the Fort will start the new age with some pretty sweet perks and rewards.
As a freemium game, the Third Age sells special hero and value packs for real cash. You can also increase your VIP tier by buying/earning gems. This means that a free-to-play player could still rise up the VIP ranks but at a much slower rate, since free gems can be a bit hard to come by, than someone who’s willing to splurge and just buy more gems outright.
Maybe it’s because the server I played in is really new, there isn’t much chatter in the world chat, which is quite weird for an MMO game, even a browser-based one. There are also guilds here, but for some reason, creating a guild can be quite a painful process. Despite being a new server and only having two existing guilds, creating a new one with a name that’s accepted by the system is frustratingly difficult.
The graphics in this game aren’t exactly top-notch but they look good enough for a browser game. Many of the character art here is very LOTR-like. Personally, I really like the inspiring music that’s played in the game. It really gives you a nice morale boost as you grind your way to the top of the pile.
The Third Age is a pretty decent browser-based MMO strategy game with a much more interactive world map and casual-like gameplay due to auto-combat, despite its generic storyline. Progress can be a bit slow once you hit level 3 Castle, however, so the game may end up becoming one of those more casual MMO games whereby logging in once or twice a day is enough.