Empire Battle Brings a Few Improvements to Fantasy Role-Playing Games on Facebook

In our ongoing quest to find interesting and popular role-playing games on Facebook, we’ve discovered another: Empire Battle. With 1.5 million monthly active users, it’s worth a closer look.
The RPG makes for some quality eye candy, but as far as game play goes, it feels pretty standard. Players choose an avatar, complete quests, battle other players, invite friends to join their team, and so on. Frankly, in a time where more and more innovation and attention to detail as been appearing in the genre (Castle AgeGangster City, etc.), Empire Battle at first seems disappointing.

Luckily, upon going deeper into the game, we found it contains some nuances that make the overall game play experience more gratifying.

Perhaps the most notable of all these features was a section dubbed “Collections.” As one might expect, random items can be earned by completing “Tasks” (quests). However, this can be more than weapons or armor. For each set of quests – which are gated by one’s level – there are a hefty number of random items to collect.

In essence, this works a bit like achievements. Players will often spend large spans of time earning these, and they will likely also repeat quests in various areas just to collect an entire set of items. Moreover, the collection is more than just a personal endeavor, for upon completing it, users gain bonuses to stats such as energy, attack, or defense.

As a matter of fact, Collections, and items in general, lend themselves nicely to social gifting as well. Yes, players can gift virtually any item, but users can also mark them on their “Wish List,” informing their friends of what they want or need.

Another nice feature comes with the battling element of the game. As with most role-playing games of this nature, players can attack other users at the cost of stamina and take their silver (Empire Battle’s in-game currency). Similar to RPGs, like Mafia Wars, smart players will stash a large portion of their money in the treasury. If they do not, other players not only can see their level and team size, but how much coin they have on hand. It isn’t an exact number, but is represented by lit up silver coin icons from one to six.

For a role-playing title, there is one major complaint to be had with Empire Battle. There is no story. Granted, a Facebook RPG is no Final Fantasy, but more often than not, users often praise these titles for their plots (i.e. Castle Age). Beyond that, the game has a knack for not telling you certain things. As an example, the inventory might be full of weapons found on quests, but it never actually tells you that it was equipped. The player just has to assume it is when they see it in their profile page. Yes, it’s minor, but a little player feedback would be nice.

Of course, adding that might be a double edged sword, because it would simply add more stuff to load, and everything seems to take loading time. Click this tab – load. Add one stat point – load. Do this task – load. View Collections – load… error… refresh. Most people aren’t very patient when it comes to games, and constantly loading or reloading gets very old, very quick.

All in all, Empire Battle has a few quirks and kinks that it needs to work out, but it’s not a bad game. That said, however, it does feel very standardized, and despite its quality artwork, feels a bit lacking without a traditional RPG storyline. Luckily, for those that do not care for such things, the game does have some nice little improvements to make the game more interesting. In the end, it really comes down to whether or not you are a fan of fantasy RPGS applications.