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|Thracia (Video game)|
|Release||August 3, 2009|
|Genre(s)||Fantasy, Mass Multiplayer Online Real-Time Turn Based Strategy|
Thracia is a Web-based computer game created and developed by an exclusively Romanian team, part of Infotrend Consulting, and launched in 2009. At the time, it was the first endeavor of its kind. All browser games were text-based, made up mostly of static content. Thracia managed to introduce a dynamic environment containing advanced graphics by successfully combining the Flash and Java technologies.
The game was also one of the first MMORTTBS (Massively Multiplayer Online Real-Time Turn-Based Strategy) ever launched. As such, it managed to carry on the tradition of the classic turn-based gameplay made popular by famous titles like: Heroes of Might and Magic or the Disciples series, while adding the online component.
Thracia does not require players to install any client on their computers, therefore it offeres greater mobility than its predecessors. The game can be accessed from any terminal with an internet connection, the only prerequisite being the creation of a personal account by each user. After logging in, the player gets instant access to all the game modules instantly.
The game is divided into three modules: the kingdom, the great map of Thracia and the battle mode. Each module has a specific function and works according to different rules.
The kingdom module is similar to the town view in HOMM. Here, the players can manage their city. They can build and upgrade buildings, recruit units and research new technologies. The improvement of the city is restricted by resource production or by acquisition, construction or recruit time.
The map view allows the players to explore the vast lands of Thracia. Their characters move in real-time. There are many elements to interact with, including special-purpose buildings, like mines or trainers, various types of NPCs and, of course, all the other players and their respective cities. The map is also an important part of quest progression.
The battle mode module is the classic turn-based part of the game. Players can fight each other or they can attack NPCs for artifacts, resources, or as a part of a quest. The user has full control over his hero and army and commands them directly for the entire battle.
There are three races to pick from when creating a new account: the Elves, the Orcs and the Thracians. Each race has its own characteristics, its strengths and its weaknesses. The Elves are superior as far as magic bonuses go, the Orcs benefit from the greatest physical force, while the Thracians are the more balanced of the three. They receive both defense and attack bonuses in lesser amounts.
Each race has a different city view with twelve unique buildings. Five of the buildings produce resources, three of them allow unit recruitment; the rest have special functions like research, unit transfer or spy mission deployment. They also have access to seven different types of combat units and one hero.
Although the main plot of the game - the never ending story of the battle between Elves and humans on one side and Orcs on the other - is not a particularly engrossing one, and it's by no means original, Thracia has an interesting and innovative take on creating a story for itself.
The great map is divided up into nine main regions. Each region has a name that is somehow linked to the history of the land. The player can find out about these ancient tales from a special purpose building that also acts as a quest giver. The twist is that each story is in fact ongoing, and the quests actually shape the way history is written. Decisions made by the players during the quests have different outcomes that influence the tale. The result is a mostly unique legend for every player.
Every city in Thracia has a single hero. The hero is the leader of the army either in battle or while exploring the map. This is the only unit of the game that can evolve in time based on accumulated experience and honor. The two can only be earned as a result of victory in combat or completion of quests. When a certain amount of experience is reached, the hero is promoted to the next level. With each level, he gets to learn more powerful abilities and spells that he can later use during battle.
There are two main classes and eight different hero specialties. The main decision has to be taken right from the start of the game: path of the mage or path of the warrior. Ten levels later, a second choice is offered. For the warrior there are two options: weapon mastery or leadership. The wizard has to decide between becoming a healer or an enchanter. The final step in hero development as far as path choosing is concerned is reached at level 20. At this point, every player has to opt for one of the eight final specialties.
Every specialty offers 12 different spells or abilities to choose from. Four of them are unique to that specialty. They are also the most powerful. As a result, the entire strategy of each player is dictated by the chosen path.
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