My MMO Is My Castle: Stronghold Kingdoms

Firefly Studios – they of the castle building/sieging series, Stronghold – are making an MMO, Stronghold Kingdoms. The game will encompass medieval Europe and allow players to build a series of castles, and their attendant settlements, in a wide-open strategy game in which crushing your enemies will no doubt play a vital part. Firefly describe the game as “a mix of real time gameplay with long term planning”, in which there will be opportunity to “Build, Besiege, Pillage, Farm, Explore, Research, Vote, Trade, Banquet, Fight and much, much more.” The game is apparently being developed by Firefly Studios independently of a publisher, and is due some time in 2010. There’s a smidgeon more detail on the official site.


  1. Dominic White says:

    Stronghold and Stronghold: Crusader were awesome, and a persistent-world version of them would be even better. I want. It sounds like the logical extension of so many of those build-and-raid-and-farm browser strategy games.

  2. Ewok says:

    I really like the idea of this. The previous Stronghold games held my attention for a long time considering what they were. If this is well thought through it could be a nice enjoyable change from the current MMOs.

  3. Dracko says:

    This is actually a really damn cool idea!

  4. Manny Manburger says:

    This is a very cool idea indeed. The game will probably be too advanced for my caveman brain though.

  5. Torgen says:

    Another idea to scratch out of my “games I’d design had I the money” book!

    Wishing them great luck, and looking forward to it!

  6. jon_hill987 says:

    So it is a MMORTS instead of the usual MMORPG?

  7. Jim Rossignol says:

    jon: complete with tech trees, yes.

  8. Ian says:

    Excellent idea but my trying it would depend strongly on the payment structure. Given that I’ll inevitably get bored, suck and die a lot it’s not something I’d necessarily invest a lot of time into, especially if I was having to spend a lot too.

    Wish them luck with it though, a great idea for a game it seems.

  9. cullnean says:

    “you have failed to wipe the cullnean empire from the map becuaes he logged out”

  10. D says:

    “Castellation” – In the research tree screenshot

  11. David says:

    Intriguing idea. I could certainly see this being a hit.

  12. danielcardigan says:

    Aren’t/weren’t Stardock planning something similar?

  13. Tei says:

    Hope this is made right. OGame was a game where too much attention was needed. Age of Conan force the on the castle sieges a “window” where the attack must be made. WAR has not window (maybe has been added now?) but suffer from engine/server limitations that crashed stuff (reported, I have not suffered it). Darkfall castle sieges has it about right, but is oriented towards sandbox “life”. Saga has sieges/attacks limited to “wild” areas, If you don’t have wild areas, you are safe from these attacks.

  14. CMaster says:

    Hmm, question – does NetStorm count as an MMORTS or not? If so it was definitley a bit ahead of the curve. I supose it’s quite Guild-warsy realy though in that all the actual action took place in instances.

  15. parm says:

    Isometric graphics = sale. There’s something just so intrinsically lovely about isometric graphics. I don’t understand why.

  16. Serondal says:

    I’ve got a feeling this is going to fail horribly.

    Either A) They will put in a system that constrains how much you can do each day, ala Travian or
    B) They WON’T Constrain how much you can do in one day and people that play more often will dominate those casual gamers that don’t because they’ll be sitting there playing 24/7.

    Even if the gold comes on slow it will just create a slow downed game where you can only do so much in one day and then you gotta wait for ever to do anything else.

  17. Baris says:

    *Squeal of pure glee*!

  18. Drakkheim says:

    At first I got excited, then I remembered stronghold 2’s multiplayer. Tragically bad path finding, random crashes, memory leaks and dozens of units stacked into a tiny little square.

  19. autarch says:

    Weren’t the Tilted Mill guys working on something like this too?

  20. Barky says:

    I think that might of been one called Society, can’t quite remember though.

  21. alco75 says:

    RTS? Not interested.

    I’m waiting for a turn/tick-based 4x MMO.

    Something like Cosmic Supremacy, but better …

  22. Okami says:

    There are not enough online banquetting simulators, so I heartily approve of this game.

  23. Cooper says:

    This will be a massive WANT if they can convince me that the castle building aspect is more detailed, varied but less cumbersome than the games, and if the RTS part scales to people like me who are crap at RTSes, but love turtling with intricate base/castle set-ups.

  24. Serondal says:

    Well turtling is what stronghold is all about so I’m guessing that will be a huge part of it. If your land stays online while you are not then building defences will be the only way to survive after all. In Travian there is a lot of politics and friend making ect so that people don’t squash you with their giant armies, that will probably be the case here as older players get more and more powerful the newer players will be crushed (unless there is some sort of protection)

    It could be very interesting. I think my earlier post about how this will fail was a bit harsh.

  25. ACESandElGHTS says:

    @Ian: Couldn’t a game like this charge $5-$7 USD and still make piles of money? Payment structure must be key to creating the MMONextBigThing.

    Yea, a persistent online game for the non-core.

  26. Jahkaivah says:

    Along with Heroes of Might and Magic I learn two of my most beloved alternative strategy series are having MMO renditions being made on the same day.


  27. no says:

    So this is a desktop based graphically prettier version of the web based Travian game? Sweet.

  28. Brass Gerbil says:

    You’re telling me I can spend hours and hours lovingly building up a town and castle, all so the sociopathic, unemployed bully who plays the game 20 hours every day can waltz over and raze it all to the ground? Pass, thanks.

    MMOPvP is great in theory, but as with many other great theories, the reality falls far short of the dream — primarily due to the predations of masses of unwashed rage-nerds. I’d rather sit on the couch and pick lint off my dog’s nose than return to the pathetic geekfest of something like this game.

  29. D says:

    Come on AIMs, is that all you’ve got! :-J
    /Altho I do agree that if this ends up as a prettier Travian/Ogame, I will probably pass on it too after getting wiped a couple times.

    But also I’m looking forward to the two splinter cells of RPS-ites and the endless waging of war between the Jim/John vs. KG/Alec camps. (Assuming its still based on the briton landmass, obv.)

  30. Thranx says:

    Fantastic idea, but persistant RTSs are a tricky beast. I love Stronghold + Crusades, and I liked the look and feel (yet not the bugginess) of Stronghold 2. I hope they can place this model into an MMO setting well, but I have very low expectations given thier last few offerings.

    …and I think “self funded” really means, “our last games tanked and we can’t find a publisher”

  31. Carra says:

    Stronghold is a great game. I can see potential in a good mmorts. Although I do wonder how they’ll do it. AI managed when you’re not online?

  32. A-Scale says:

    I LOVED Stronghold, but their more recent title was a huge let down. I see promise in this one, though. Firefly is capable of great things.

  33. sfury says:

    But I want a Firefly RPG.

  34. D says:

    Ugh. Just played around with this in alpha stage for some weeks. AVOID IT. Glorified browsergame where the only advantage you can get is … having started earlier than the other players. Except it doesn’t run in a browser, so it’s not even easy to access.

    No real opportunity for castling or attacking as we know it from Stronghold, everything plays out depending on which positions you put the units in initially. After the fight, you get a “real-time” report about how it went. Building a nice castle was fun, it takes a lot of resources, and also takes days (literally) to complete. The game is thus most focused on building up production capability as all browsergames, which also take forever to set up with town buildings and research. Everything ends up taking hours to complete and much longer to get the resources to build it (and increasingly more the more you play). Endless waiting game, typical of browsergames, you get the idea.

    I didn’t see the level of bullying that is normal of those browsergames, probably because the difference between a bigger player and a smaller one is huge, and there’s nothing to be gained from fighting for a long time (other than defending against and attacking the spawning “AI” spots). Instead the bigger players just suck the ground dry, taking all the resources and attacking all the “wolf lairs”/”bandit camps” and what have you, further accelerating their growth.

    There is supposedly an endgame of sorts where players in the regions of the country fight each other, but I didn’t bother sticking around as it would obviously end up with the longest staying players having the clear advantage.

    Add to that an item store where you can buy cards to give you an advantage (in alpha, tokens were given freely once a week) such as a bunch of gold or food or increased woodcutting production for six hours, and this is just the worst type of game imaginable. No fun, all slog.

    Nothing to see here, too bad.

  35. Alpha4 says:

    The Alpha isn’t all that great, they are though in that Alpha phase, so I can’t be to hard on them….. wait, yes I can.

    Developers are NOT getting involved to find out what right and what’s wrong with the game, they aren’t interacting at all, they do what they want to do and that’s about the extent of there involvement.

    This has potential, but issues that need to be resolved are not getting resolved at all. In fact it takes them 3 weeks to resolve one code issue that was tracked and locked down for them by a few players in the player base. Why they can’t get involved with their player base is beyond me, why they can’t at the very least acknowledge their existence is baffling to me.

    At this stage, I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone, but again, it’s Alpha only, not beta, where they may refine it a bit and may get involved a bit more. I don’t hold my breath though, they don’t seem to want to work with the player base to closely now, it’ll be hard to just start showing up later for them. They claim their moderators are doing it for them, but their moderators are fan boys and aren’t doing any good for the player base that is trying to get their dislikes across, because they are WRONG for doing it. Sounds kind of sad to me.

    I personally wouldn’t get involved with this game if they launch in the next 6-12 months either, because it won’t be refined enough between now and then. No way for as slow as they are going about stuff.

  36. Alpha4 says:

    Alpha4 is finishing today, so here’s the update:

    Server still has issues and crashes at least 1x a week, if not more. This is bad, considering that this is an issue that has been ‘on their list’ since A1 and still not resolved.

    Game mechanics are now completed, if you aren’t a ‘power gamer’ and have 24 hours a day to maintain yourself, you are in trouble. They just recently put in a research that allows your Captains, which are required for taking or razing another players village (castle), to move at the same speed as your military, rather than slowing them down. This means that you can get hit multiple times while simply going to fill your coffee cup in the morning.. not really, but you get my point.. if you turn away from the game for an hour, you may not have anything left to come back to.

    During the beta, they will be collecting credit card information to ‘test’ their payment system, so you can buy the perks, a.k.a. cards. While they may not be ‘charging’ you up front, giving out that kind of information tells them how much money they can plan on getting too, how many people will fork out the bucks, etc. etc. good luck with this, micro transaction games are for the birds. You’ll have to pay to compete.

    Firefly still has yet to seriously get involved with their testing group. They CLAIM 18,807 people were in the Alpha, I can tell you from a mathematical standpoint, BULLSHIT.. they may have 18,807 that played over the 3 month period, but not all at once, that’s for sure, the map that was being used wasn’t big enough to support 18,807 people. Their numbers are staggering, they may have had 5 or 6 thousand active throughout, and has 12k in and out throughout.. when 2/3 of your numbers aren’t active and remain that way, it’s a sure sign the game is in trouble.

    I wish them well, but I personally would not waste my time with them if I were you, this game is nothing more than a monetary vampire in training. They won’t fix issues that need to be fixed, but they will sure make the screens more appealing. Sorry to say, but when a company doesn’t listen to ALL the bugs and tries to implement crap, they are heading in the wrong direction, and this too shall fail. AVOID THIS GAME.