A modification for Mount and Blade: Warband, set in the universe of George R. R Martins "A Song of Ice and Fire". Also known as the popular HBO TV-series "Game of Thrones".
The mod is awesome, I highly recommend it for any Game of Thrones fan or just someone who wants a different setting in Warband. However, the harsh things people say of the author is not far off. He refuses to listen to just about any advice/recommendations given, and openly attacks other mods that can be compared to his own. While the mod is great, the man is an ***, and that is why this is getting a 6/10 rather than a 9/10
This is a review of A Clash of Kings 2.0 I have three good things and three bad things to say about A Clash of Kings 2.0 ( 'Too Long ; Didn't Read' at the bottom of the review )
A discalimer first. If a mod is **** I'm not going to give it 5, I'm actually going to give it 1. I'm not part of the group of reviewers that think 5 is the lowest grade of a review.
- The quests. Apart from the bugs that may happens around quest givers, the quests are of good quality. Special music are used for atmospheric reasons, the dialog is witty and the results on Westeros ( emerging factions ) are a welcoming addition to the game. They can be quite hard to complete, but also give you unique loot as well. Over all, one of the best quests I've ever seen in Warband. 2.0 adds a couple of new quests.
- The map is huge and looks very good. You have many factions and Westeros is in full turmoil. Many famous characters you remember from the HBO series dots the landscape and Castle Halls like Gregor Clegane, Stannis, Renly, Tyrell, Rob Stark and many more. Every port and a few town have small lore descriptions from the books to enrich the RPG feeling of the playthrough.
- Units and items. The amount of local items and soldiers is a solid refreshment. There is a wide range of weaponry, soldiers and items in A Clash of Kings 2.0. You can hire everything form Unsullied units, to iconic Casterly Rock men. Volatene silver shields to quality carpets from Qohor or gold chalice from Lannisport. Almost every major town and port have unique small mercenary companies that you can hire. Many of the new custom items ( like carpets, wine and so forth ) as well as non-collectible items have been added to castles and quest scenes which amplifies the quality of the mod quite well.
- Lack of quality assurance. Cozur loves to implement new features in the mod, which is parts of the reason why it's good. Unfortunately, he seem to negligee the idea of testing these features to check if they actually work properly. For example every new fortification that I've encounter have so massive bugs that the two armies don't connect with each other, but instead gets stuck all over the siege map.
- Fixed diplomacy. The diplomacy is fixed. What is meant by this is that who goes to war with who is scripted. Most of the Westeros factions are going to wage war on eachother, but all the eastern factions in Essos are completely peaceful. What I mean is that Baavos, Pentos, Myr, Qohor, Norvos and Lorath do nothing all game. There is no reason to go to Essos except a few quests. Except for a few quests, half the map is going to be untouched the whole game.
- Massive frame drops in large battles. I've played all the other versions and 1500 hours of Warband, but non of them made battles lag this much. Some of the quests in the North are thus unplayable and I was forced to reduce the battle size quite considerably to skirmish size. This is quite unfortunate.
Should you download it? Yes.
Good: Quests, the map, units, items are very good.
Bad: Becoming a king and controlling large armies, conquering towns while waging war on the world is not fun because of the many bugs.
This mod reminds me of Rome 2 Total War. Many parts of that game were excellent, but unfortunately the QA was so horrible that it's not worth dealing with in the long run. Seeing bug after bug just ruins the fun.
I played Clash of Kings a while back and I must... I never had an experience with a Mount and Blade mod that inspired both a heavily immersive experience and then RIP me from the experience when the reality of the situation hit me over and over and over again until I looked at this critically.
Don't get me wrong. The mod is extremely ambitious. It has so much stuff packed in its amazing that Cozur made do as the primary developer. The world is massive, with all the factions from the Game of Thrones world you could want. Unique towns, cities, landscapes, and armor and weapons exist. Unique companions, QUESTS, and new day-to-day missions are unique to this mod.
Which makes the faults all the more noticeable. Cozur seems to have a philosophy of making things difficult. Thats fine. I like difficult. I like hard mode for games. I like a little challenge to engage me. But here is the issue. Ideal hard mode only punishes you for making the wrong decision. It trains you, so that you take satisfaction in succeeding and eventually learn to master it. The features in this mod, like ridiculous bandits, high troop costs, and random events punish players, especially early players from truly enjoying the experience. Some of this is outside your control. Its hard to make money to keep up with the troop costs. Its hard to level up your troops and yourself when what should be the exp fodder annihilates even your mid upgrade units. Its even more difficult to fend off trollish random events that lower your hard earned stats when you do get them.
Other problems of this mod are the factions. In order to be true to the books, certain factions are locked out of conflict with others. I wouldn't mind this on the surface, but its impossible as far as I know to change this, even if you are a member of said faction. Since this is built on the Mount and Blade engine, things stagnate quickly as a result.
The whole thing just feels terribly optimized. This is done in both the intentional and unintentional aspects of it.
Unfortunately, I have heard enough rumors and seen enough of Cozur's old posts to know that constructive criticism is not likely to be taken seriously. I respect an individual's direction with their works. I'm not demanding Cozur to add anything like White Walkers in his mod and then complain when he says he won't try to implement such things. But come on man. There are broken elements here. At least admit you know they are there so eventual repair work can be done.
Great mod, really good looking. Lacks balance, why would The North only get pikemen? Why are some factions specialized? Would be better if they where more even, it would open up the game so you can play the way you want to...
I dont find it to much fun since you can only play Lanisters if you want an army with good melee...
This mod is good cause it looks good.
2.0's economy is broken, all towns/villages are either poor or very poor, it is impossible to maintain large garrisons and armies without running a deficit, you can't even remedy this by doing quests. You are better off just going around doing the quests and raiding villages, but that's boring. Why have the diplomacy system when it's pretty much unusable? The changes to the game are great and I love the quests, but diplomacy is a core game-play feature this need to be fixed very soon. You are also a dickhead, so there's that.