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Time of Defiance
By: Robert F. Ludwick | Game Data | 11:44pm, November 10, 2004
ImageTime Of Defiance is a wonderfully built game that not even I could stay away from!

Rather than go through the separate parts of the game, I'm going to give an account of what happened to me during my 13-day stay in Time Of Defiance's Demo Game on Server 8... But let's get some history and basic information about the game, shall we?

Time Of Defiance is set upon the planet of Nespanona. Back in the day (About 1 million years ago), the highly-advanced Nespan civilization experimented with some high-tech stuff... quantum technology. After it's all said and done, their experiments made their planet's core start to shrink. You can see the problem here.

They built gravity wells to keep parts of the crust around after the planet imploded on itself. The wells worked, which is why the planet now looks like it has tons of little flying islands...

This backstory is pretty well-concieved. Some may think it's way too farfetched, and seems roughly compiled, but it is a nice way to introduce gamers to a new type of strategy game: forced expansion.

Time Of Defiance has multiple games running at concurrent times, but you can't be in more than one game at once (Unless you partake in special games such as Skirmish and Blitz, where the game settings can be quite fast!). Each game is dedicated on to its own server, making it that much faster and responsive...

Anyway... Now that I've got a backdrop, let the 13 days begin!

I began as an island... DarqRealm was my empire name, and my home island was called Goeffs. I was new to the game and sadly, I decided "I don't have to read all of the documents for this game!" If I had, I could have possibly ended up in first place. Telling you this, I didn't end up in first, but you'll soon find out how I fared.

I took a look around my pre-existing items... I had a headquarters, a mine, a silo, some exisitng defenses, and a vehicle constructor. Not too shabby, I thought... I didn't know how well my base defenses would hold up against an attack, so I reinforced them with my Headquarters.. It's like the construction site. I found some mining transports, little ships that mine an island, and I told them to mine. Upon seeing the option "Auto-fill silo," I turned it on, because I didn't want to manually move the resources they mined: coal, metal, wood, stone, and water.

My interactive assistant told me I should get more mining transports, so I did. I figured it must be a good idea if it told me to. I ran over to my vehicle constructor and told it to build some more. It began. The queue started filling up.

My headquarters was soon finished with my base defense upgrades, so I decided I should see what kinds of things I could build with it... There was quite a list, but one that struck my fancy was the "Quantum Receiving Silo" upgrade, for an existing resource silo. I looked it it... Apparently, if I had a Quantum Communicator on another island, I could hook it up to a Quantum Receiving Silo, and it would send resources from that island to the one with the silo... Nice! That meant I didn't have to spend coal with my mining transports getting resources from one place to another!

I made many mistakes here in the beginning, but one thing I didright was notice an unclaimed island near Goeffs. It was Ovajoy. I sent a scout over that I began my account with, and had it perform a mineral survey and a construction space survey. Ovajoy was rich with resources and had the same construction space that Goeffs had. Excellent! Now.. How would I colonize this sucker?

I went back to Goeffs and told my vehicle constructor to build a coloniser... Great! But.. It wasn't building! Why? My resources were out. I went over to the silo, thinking "I don't have to manually fill this all the time, do I?" No. The silo had an "Auto-fill constructors" option. Thank god! It eventually built.

To make a long story short, I ended up colonizing Ovajoy, and I had problems making sure resources got to it so I could even build upon it. During this process, I noticed that my mining transports could perform a trading route. Cool... I set a couple mining transports to carry some wood, metal, and stone on over to ovajoy for the headquarters the coloniser built...

ImageI decided expansion immediately was the best idea, since it took enough resources to do things in this game, that Goeffs would not sustain me for long. I soon expanded into my entire area, claiming about... I do believe it was about 12 islands. Colonized the ones that I could, and learned some things along the way: I didn't have to have a quantum receiving silo on every island, only on the one I wanted the resources sent to.. which was Goeffs. I couldn't mine the elusive crystal moss with Cog equipment.

I also came across some deserted empire remnants in my journey into the area. I learned that battle can be quick, as I destroyed the few tactical vehicles in the area. Not too bad.. I was already a military powerhouse!

I soon ventured into the Eighth House. This was a nice place with all sorts of goodies. In the remaining time of the game, this is where I wanted to spend all of my time. I bought things of all sorts here: Colonisers, crystal moss miners, water-to-moss distilleries, bigger transports... Even motherships for attacking, as I will describe here soon.

I nearly forgot to mention: crystal moss is the currency of the Eighth House. This is why it took me so long to get the ball rolling on this front, because I didn't properly research how to get the stuff.

Anyway, I soon decided to expand out beyond my general vicinity. I encountered some other empires with some small base defenses and thought "Here's a good chance to test my mettle!" Well, I was tested and nearly failed. I didn't check my large warships' attack settings, and they didn't begin attacking the items that could attack me... They were set to attack anything, so they attacked the closest items. I also had them grouped too close together, so they all took damage from the same shots. I had to pull in reinforcements from Goeffs even.

I ended up winning the battle, by a slim margin. I built a boarding party and a salvage vessel and sent them over, to take over the buildings and island, and salvage off what I didn't want. Worked well, because this island had a quantum foam gate!

These gates are nice. If you have enough moss, you can connect one gate to another and send ships immediately through. Even if the distance spans the entire map, you can send 20 ships! It's great! Unfortunately, they're expensive as all-get-out as well, so capturing them is a real treat. You can't move them, unfortunately.

This new island spurred a massive expansion in the areas around it. The owner hadn't logged in for awhile, and his silo and mine were just FULL of resources! I immediately built a full complements of base defenses and built up some new scouts and colonisers to get to the surrounding islands. This attack was great!

I experimented with other things in the Eighth House. I built up a bankroll (Because my quantum communicators could automatically move crystal moss to the Eighth House!) and decided to expand into the unknown... I bought the location of an unowned island a good distance away from my area, then bought the gate coordinates to it... This was expensive, but ended up being worth it later in the game.

I sent through a coloniser and transport, each fully stocked with enough resources to setup a mining operation on the island... I, however, didn't foresee that I would need a gate over in this area in the future, and had to re-buy the coordinates for it again to send the gate over. I didn't make this mistake again when I went into a different area on the map in this same manner.

I built myself up and built myself up, encountering some resistance along the way, but eventually I had a big island to attack... It was called Tipeya, had a good complement of base defenses, and some tactical ships. I ended up losing my entire Destroyer fleet attacking it, but won when my Motherships could stay out of the rage of the turrets. I took it over, and it spurred expansion into this area as well.

I grew right up until the end of the game, when I decided I would experiment with other aspects of the game I hadn't entered. I built an Inter-island Ballistic Silo and sent missiles at a heavily defended island to break it open for attack. It worked, but yet again I lost my destroyer fleet, and won by Motership in the end.

To end the game, I finally decided to buy a Battleplatform Deployment to see what they can do. I'd been missing out. This expensive piece of equipment was everything I could have used... It could be a super miner, an awesome attacker, or practically a mobile island! In any case, after messing around with this equipment, I was happy to see I ended the game in 3rd place. Not bad!

All-in-all, Time Of Defiance is a great game. My experience described doesn't do it justice. Obviously, there are many, many ways to win in this game. I did pretty well using what seemed to be very.. bad tactics. I would colonise every island, setup a mining and basic defense system, and have my quantum communicator beam the resources to what I designated my "hub island" in the area. My hub generally contained large defenses and a vehicle constructor.

The greatest part of Time Of Defiance is that you're forces to expand. No more "Sit in one giant base and take over the whole map." You must have many island to survive and win, which makes it exceedingly difficult to expand and properly defend your empire.

There are many different ways to get things done. Mining transports, or colonies with a couple mines. Ballistic missiles or motherships. Anything is possible!

The game receives updates pretty often, and they generally contain bug reports that the users give. They also expand upon the game, and add in new content.. The battle platform, for example, was introduced in a client patch, not when the game was first released. The interface is complex at first, but you get used to it...

One beef I have with this game is the camera system, at least when you're beginning to use it. It is excessively difficult to use it at first... Only when you've played with the camera system for a few days can you see what you need to see and do what you need to do.

The community here is great. I didn't interact with them a great deal until close to the end of the game, but they're great. Very cordial, they partake in roleplaying aspects of the game quite often. They report bugs when they find them and don't exploit anything. They are well-mannered... And should be, for the price tag.

There are many different pricing plans for Time Of Defiance. For a full list of pricing plans, you should visit the website. Though, the price gets as high as $12 a month to play, and that's on a month-by-month basis. you can get a plan that gives you 12 months for the price of 8, which is a damn good deal. $12 a month is nothing to pay, considered this is a highly addictive game.

I would like to add one side note: Time Of Defiance successfully blends online and "offline" play. Because of the queueing system involved, you can actually have things happening in your empire when you're not logged in. You could have an island's headquarters building up defenses while you're away at work and unable to login. This is one of the aspects of the game that make it truly enticing.

I wish I could say more, but at this point, I think you should run over and try the game for its 8-day demo. Make sure to read as much as you can about it beforehand, as you'll enjoy it more and understand what you're doing. You won't lose interest as fast if you can logically do things in the game.

In the end, I will not stop playing this game. I am too addicted, and want to try out using more of the equipment from the Eighth House I never used. There is so much this game has to offer, I can't stop now. The price tag, in my opinion, is worth it for this very unique gaming experience. If you want fun, play a sport. But if you want an indept gaming experience that will leave you breathless and always wanting more, play Time Of Defiance.

9.4 Gameplay 999 9
Replayability 101010 10
Interface 888 8
Community 101010 10
Reviewer's Tilt 101010 10
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