Ragar loots keeps (and gets his own looted) in Ubisoft's new F2P dungeon crawler/manager
A few weeks ago Ubisoft decided to celebrate the start of Closed Beta for their new F2P dungeon crawler/manager, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot. They held an Open House event - everyone who had signed up for the beta before a cutoff date was invited in for a few days to try out the game. There were even prizes given away - a shirt and 1000 keys to stay in the beta once the Open House ended. I tried out the game some during the event, but not really enough to base my opinion on the game. Now that I have a key to the actual beta and access to the locked third class, it's time to dig in a bit further and see what TMQEL has to offer.
Congratulations On Your New Keep! Have Fun Getting Robbed!
If you're unfamiliar with the premise behind TMQEL, here's the gist of it: you are an aspiring adventurer in the land of Opulencia, home to flying castles in the sky filled with gold and treasures. The problem? Most of that gold and treasure lies in keeps other than your own. Such a travesty cannot be allowed, so your first goal in the game is to free said loot from the clutches of your fellow Opulencians. You can raid their keeps and test your mettle against whatever defenses they've devised to protect their treasures.
Should you manage to best their traps and monsters fast enough, you'll gain access to their gold and Life Force stashes and be able to steal 20% of whatever they had stored away. Well, assuming it's not shielded. As a mechanic to prevent griefing as well as to make it at least remotely possible for new players to make progress in the game, player stashes become guarded once they've been looted by another player; a keep can still be attacked, but any would-be thieves will be unable to take from the treasure chests at the end until the shield expires hours later (I believe it's somewhere between six and nine currently). Remember, looting goes both ways - your neighbors can rob you of your riches just as easily as you steal theirs. To prevent those greedy monsters from taking your treasures, you'll need to beef up your defenses.
That brings us to the other half of TMQEL's gameplay, keep management. Those monsters you fought and traps you stumbled into as you raided your neighbor's keep? Those were placed by the keep's owner in an effort to protect his treasures. If you would like to maintain your own ill-gotten gains, you'll need to do the same. Well, maybe not the exact same; chances are if you managed to get past your neighbor's defenses with time to spare, then you should probably try something different. When you're back at your keep, clicking on the Defend button will give you a view of the inside of your keep. When you first get the keep and start that tutorial, there won't be a great deal to look at: an entrance, a main hallway, and the heart of your keep where your gold and Life Force stashes are held. The next few steps will give you the basics of how to defend your treasure from the ravening hordes beating on your gates. You'll be walked through making a Construction Hut (for building the basic structures in your keep), a Hero Trainer (for leveling up once you cap your XP) and the Blacksmith (shiny equipment for your hero in case your drops suck). When you're about ready to finish raiding the starting area of NPC keeps, you'll be told to make a Summoning Portal, the cornerstone of your defenses.
With your Summoning Circle in place, you can start laying traps and placing monsters in your castle. Early on your options will be a bit sparse though - you'll have Derps for melee monsters, Snotters for ranged, and a Glue Minefield for snaring any invaders. These are a start, but by this point in the game, you'll be seeing far more difficult monsters and dangerous traps in the keeps you're raiding. Simple defenses like these won't suffice to protect your fortunes against greedy neighbors. That means you'll need to upgrade your castle and that's going to take some money. Sure, you'll have some guaranteed income; the Gold Mine and Life Force Mine the tutorial has you place will passively generate both resources over time, but such a paltry income just won't cut it for defending your home. It's time to pick a hero, throw on some gear, and start saying hello to the neighbors.