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Evony Online's Glass Ceiling
By now, everyone is, of course, quite sick of seeing the buxom ads deployed to entice new players for Evony. Being rather burnt out on everything else available on the market, I've been giving it a try. No, there isn't any comely wench in-game, of any sort, that I've found. But, it is free, after all, right..? Right?
Except they nerfed medals...
You can play for free until you get out of newbie-mode by trying to advance beyond Knight, which requires these medals, see?
For what it's worth, the game is a simplified version of Civilization, played out on a square grid. There is no animation for combat; it's all numbers. The game caters heavily to the casual gaming scene, providing multiple build options that each involve timers with escalating durations.
For the first week or so, Evony was a pretty fun game to play!
You get to build various types of structures, perform research, build resources, and quickly grow your city until everything in it is level nine. After that, you are handicapped by the requirement of one Michelangelo's Script for every building you want to advance to level ten (the max). You will acquire one or two of these easily enough through various bonus packages that new players are granted, but getting them for your remaining buildings is very slow without purchasing them outright using micro-transactions...
Each of your Barracks are able produce various types of troops, and your Walls are able to produce various types of defences, to defend against other attacking players. This is an MMO, after all, and it involves both PvP and Alliances.
Buildings, troop production and defense production all run on timers, allowing you to have one unit in production at each Barracks at a time, one defensive unit in production on your walls at a time, and one new building either being constructed or upgraded at a time.
You should even be able to get a second city up and running, with all the same bells and whistles, on it's own additional set of timers. However, in order to expand your empire beyond two cities, you must first acquire medals of various types that are reputed to drop from attacking the variously leveled unoccupied land around you. This item type, which is virtually required for even low level advancement, has a drop rate comparable to unique rare's in other MMO's. Engaging in several hundred battles just to earn each medal is simply unacceptable.
Now, don't get me wrong, there is a reason why the drop rate is so low, and I am sure that I know what it is. If you see fit to spend some hard earned cach on the game, you can purchase just about anything you need. They even throw in all kinds of bonus stuff just for making a purchase! Hell, they may even change the drop-rate on medals for paying customers, for all I know.
However, for those of you looking to find a new casual MMO, I cannot find it in myself to recommend something that becomes stale after the first two weeks without participating in their monetization efforts.
Well, the fine folx at Evony have offered up to the player community a chance to earn 500 cents in-game (quite a lot, actually) in exchange for good reviews that get reported to their PR department. As a long-time advocate of providing in-game incentives for IRL player actions, I have to respect this. They've kindly not specified that said reviews must be positive, only that it must be good, great or excellent. I will entertain my audience by letting them know how things unfold...
In the meantime, I will not likely be doing much more than checking my research timers and hoping the medals drop rate improves. I'm on as Lord Saint Ego at server 39, for those that want to know...