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The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom (German: Die Siedler 7) is a city-building game with real-time strategy elements, developed by Blue Byte and published by Ubisoft. Released for Microsoft Windows and macOS in March 2010, it is the ninth game in The Settlers series. Blue Byte released three expansions in 2010; Uncharted Land (German: DLC Pack 1), Conquest - The Empire (German: DLC Pack 2), and Rise of the Rebellion (German: DLC Pack 3), released in July, September, and December, respectively. In March 2011, The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom - Deluxe Gold Edition was released, containing the original game, the three expansions, an unlock code for an upcoming fourth expansion, and a copy of The Settlers III. The fourth expansion, The Two Kings (German: Die zwei Könige), was released in April 2011. In 2018, the Deluxe Gold Edition was re-released as The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom - History Edition.
In the game's single-player campaign, the player controls Princess Zoé of the Kingdom of Kuron. When her father, King Konradin, learns there has been a coup in the neighbouring Kingdom of Tandria, with the Tandrian king, Balderus, forced into exile, he tasks Zoé with putting down the rebellion. Making her way through Tandria, she soon encounters the leaders of the rebellion, Lord Wolvering and his most loyal knight, Dracorian. However, telling Zoé that he is a liberator, not a rebel, Dracorian claims that he is fighting to rid the Tandrian people of Balderus's tyranny, and warns her not to trust her father. The Chronicles of Tandria, a campaign included with the Rise of the Rebellion expansion, tells a prequel story depicting how and why Dracorian and his sister Rovyn first took up arms against Balderus.
In designing Paths to a Kingdom, Blue Byte explicitly set out to correct the perceived problems of the two previous Settlers titles; Heritage of Kings (which had been criticised for focusing too heavily on combat) and Rise of an Empire (which had been criticised for its overly simplistic economic models). Roughly basing the game on the most acclaimed title in the series, The Settlers II, the designers foregrounded such popular features as road networks and complex daisy-chain economic processes, whilst emphasising economic micromanagement, technology trees, and trade requirements. However, the designers also introduced new game mechanics, particularly a dynamic Victory Points system. Additionally, for the first time in the series, the player can choose to develop their settlement along three different lines; military, technology, and/or trade, with each one requiring different gameplay strategies and styles of play. Shortly after the game's release, it became embroiled in controversy when a fault in Ubisoft's newly launched always-on DRM prevented thousands of players from playing the game over the Easter weekend.
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The Settlers 7: Paths to a Kingdom System Requirements
- Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP / 7
- Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2 GHz or AMD XP 2600
- RAM: 2 GB
- Video Card: 256 MB
- Hard disk space: 8 GB