Ubisoft’s The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot has been undergoing a lengthy beta testing phase for some time now, but despite this no official launch date has yet been announced. One would assume that this is because the publisher wants to ensure that they get the formula right before hitting that ‘live’ button, and basing assumptions on all of the tinkering that has been going on throughout Electronic Theatre’s time with the videogame it’s probably fair to say that this is no easy task.
Despite being free-to-play, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is not a browser based videogame. Bucking the trend which even Ubisoft itself seems keen to establish as the norm, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot demands that the player download a reasonable sized client in order to access the videogame. A Uplay account is also required, but these are also free and the registration process has been simplified significantly in the past year. A subsequent download process will begin automatically once the terms and conditions have been accepted, but it’s not too long before players can begin doing what they do best: play.
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is a videogame of two halves: attack and defence. Beginning with attack, the player controls their on-screen avatar by issuing in-direct commands in a similar fashion to most real-time strategy (RTS) videogames. The player can move by clicking anywhere traversable on the screen and must avoid the traps laid out for them in each castle as well as engaging in combat with encroaching enemies. The tutorial section handily informs you of all of this with some less than challenging interactions: a swarm of rats and a bladed wheel you simply have to run past at the right time to overcome. However, it doesn’t stay this simple for long.
With a name like ‘The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot’ you expect the loot drops to be coming at you fast, and that they do. Nearly every encounter will offer you some kind of new equipment or other bonus, though they may not be superior to that which you already own. One thing that remains a constant throughout your raids on enemy castles however: cold hard cash. There’s lots of it, and you’re going to need it.
New weapons and armour can be equipped after each raid and functions much as you would expect: drag the item into an empty slot/replace the item in a slot. Players can also unlock new skills at this time – should they meet the requirements to do so – from a variety of skill trees. Skills can be added to your skill bar for use in-game and work in a similar fashion to skills from a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), with a click to initiate and a cooldown period for which the length of inactivity depends on the strength of the ability.
Once you’ve got the basics of raids and character progression, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot introduces you to its second half: castle design. The core principle behind The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is not simply raiding increasing difficult pre-built levels and amassing a fortune, but rather going up against rival players’ designs. The early castles you attack on the way to this point in the beta version of The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot are just samples built to inform you of how to go about things, but now you get to plot your own devious constructs in the hope of keeping invading players away from your treasure room.
The castle design system is very simple. The power supply available for your traps and creatures is dictated by the strength of your castle’s heart, and upgrading the heart will away for more complicated (and deadly) traps to be installed. It’s during this castle building tutorial that you get the first taste of The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot’s premium currency. The usual time constraint technique used by many free-to-play videogames comes into play here, and players can speed things up by spending their premium currency. Ubisoft has made it clear that The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot is still currently undergoing a process of balancing to ensure that consumers feel their real world finance is recouped appropriately in-game.
The castle design involves both creating assets to benefit you and traps to impede invaders. Training stations and gold mines will aid your character’s progression and funding respectively, while the summoning portal and research lab allow you to call on and subsequently improve the minions within your castle. The architect’s office allows you to place traps and rearrange the layout of your castle, and doing so is a very simple procedure indeed: simply select the item you want and place in the chosen area through a grid system. Your castle must always be complete in itself – for example, to add in a corner you must always be able to bring the corner back into the straight before reaching the entrance – and the only real limitation as to what you can construct is the power of your castle’s heart.
There’s plenty of nuance to learn in terms of designing your castle, with the variety of traps and minions demanding a trial-and-error investment and the boss circle able to provide a highlight of any combat sequence when used wisely. However, this assessment is personal and comes with time investment, and should you find that friends are willing to join you in an elitist struggle to build the best castle The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot promises to be a great deal of fun. The videogame is currently still undergoing a closed beta testing phase and has recently made its way onto the Steam Early Access programme, and Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest details on The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot as it continues the march towards its official launch.