Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Online Game Review - Evony

I’ve been playing Evony (formerly known as “Civony” for quite a while now, so I thought it was probably time to write a proper review. Here goes...

Civony is a browser-based game that is basically a turn-based strategy game with a hint of RPG thrown in. As with all such games, the two key components are base building (in this game you start with one city and can build / conquer more at a later stage) and conquest. Your city will be surrounded by valleys, which will either be resources – mountains, swamps, grasslands, forests etc – flat areas that can have a city built on them, other players’ cities or NPC cities (which are a lot tougher than they look!). Naturally your goal is to keep developing and defending your city while gaining new lands and resources by fair means or foul (preferably the latter!).

At the time of writing there are 6 Evony servers – you can have a different account on each if you want, though frankly just having the one account eats enough of my time. The game is a lot of fun despite occasional server lag (much better now than when the game was initially launched though), and is rapidly developing a large online following. The graphics are okay and there is no sound, but the gameplay is well implemented and everything works in a logical (or at least reasonably logical) way.
Cities have a town hall, cottages for people to live in, walls for defence, barracks to produce soldiers, workshops to make machines, and so forth. Quite how you structure each city is entirely down to you, with the available resources of course. Some buildings / upgrades require other buildings or upgrades to be in place before they can be made. You have resource slots for farms, sawmills, iron mines and quarriesto obtain resources, and as you upgrade your town hall, more of these become available. Upgrading your town hall also means you can conquer more valleys. There;s also research to be done once you have a university -Evony actually has quite a lot of depth when you get into it, and more features are being developed all the time.

The key to Evony being so enjoyable though is the Alliance system. Keeping each alliance down to a maximum of one hundred members has two main benefits – via the in-game email and chat facilities (as well as the inevitable Alliance Forum that will be set up elsewhere) you develop a good little community with your alliance members, and it also means that no one alliance gets so ridiculously large that it will be impossible to ever displace it at the top. Each alliance can be allied, neutral or at war with other alliances. It all adds a bit of spice and the human interaction keeps things interesting, and it’s also easy to help out your buddies with this system. Things get much more interesting once you have several cities to look after, too. (One of the main reasons for this is that each task you perform takes a certain amount of time, and without speed-up items - some of which you can get through the course of the game, but you can also buy them - see below - there's not much to do but leave the game to it while you do something else and come back later. With several cities and armies to deal with, there's a lot less waiting because there's always something else to be getting on with.) Anything you start off in the game will continue in real time whether you've got the game open in your web browser or not - quite handy if you're short on resources, leave it overnight and when you come back, you should have quite a lot ready for use!

Though it’s quite possible to do well playing Evony for free and to do well without spending money, there are extra perks available if you’re willing to shell out some of your hard-earned cash. Personally I think the current prices make it prohibitive but in all fairness some feel that this means it’s also less likely for anyone to gain too much of an advantage by buying stuff. Evony is subtitled “Free Forever” so there should never come a time when playing the game for free becomes impossible, and it seems from all indications so far that in terms of actual game content, there will never be anything that needs to be unlocked by buying extras.

Overall Evony has, despite some serious issues at times, proven to be very addictive and quite a rewarding online game. This is however why I rarely play MMORPGs or similar – I just wouldn’t have the time!

Various comments, allegations and suggestions have been made since I first posted this review - so click here for an update on this review.  Also, check the comments below this post to see what others are saying about the game.



CaptainD - PC Gaming Blog



30 comments:

ploxerdon said...

ok i will sure check it out!

CaptainD said...

Hope you enjoy it! Give me a shout if you're on Server 2.

e cigarette said...

I saw an ad for Evony on SoftwareWorld and I noticed the ad looked somewhat odd. Turns out the game is legit and the ad wasn't just trying to phish out my info LOL

It definitely sounds like something I could get into, and best of all, it's free! Does installation of the game require installing other third-party software with it?

My bro *forced* me to download Maple Story, which is pretty fun, but I feel like everyone else is much younger than I am (::blush::) so I'm glad there's something that looks like it's geared more for adults ;)

Thanks~May

CaptainD said...

Hi May!

Yeah the first bunch of ads did make people a bit suspicious, but as far as I can tell it is legit - just using a marketing ploy to get people interested.

I think it uses the Java Runtime Environment but otherwise no software needs to be installed. (I already had JVE installed before I started playing the game so hadn't particularly noticed!)

Cheers,


Dave

Anonymous said...

MUST READ BEFORE YOU PLAY AND SPEND A LOT OF TIME ON THE GAME:

I don't have much time right now to post a very detailed review of the game but I thought it would be of use to future players of Evony to read what I have to write...

At first glance and while you are under the "beginner protection" period playing Evony is quite fun and time consuming. You are left alone to build your medieval empire - to grow your little town into a large sustainable castle with all the economic factors involved. It's quite fun watching how your tax rate affects how much gold you collect from your population and how building several farms, lumber mills, ironmine and quarry facilities add to your ability to build a large army. All this building of course takes lots of time so the game being free makes it worthwhile.... until you are no longer under the beginner protection mode!

You'll be able to attack other towns and plunder their resources and this is where it get's tricky. As entertaining it is to attack another player's town or castle, be warned that you can also get attacked EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT PLAYING. That I believe will be the main factor to Evony's eventual demise. No one will want to spend days building an empire only to have it crushed and be taken away by another player or by the game.

So if you're looking for a game you can play online where you can build your fantasy medieval empire and watch it grow to it's fullest potential, don't play Evony unless you are prepared to see all your hours lost due to an attack by the rival alliance.

I played it for a month and got to an average level 7, never gaining the max of level 10 before I lost my main castle. All those hours gone because Evony doesn't have the ability to protect users when they're not playing online. The game continues while you're offline. Unlike successful MMORPG games online, there is no area where you can be left alone to explore and grow within the game. Hence Evony will eventually die if they do not see this as a huge issue. BE FOREWARNED EVONY!

Cheers,

"Sparta"

CaptainD said...

Hi "Sparta" (funny, that's what I named my first Evony town, and I know there's an alliance called Sparta... anything to do with you?)

You have a very valid point there - I've actually stopped playing the game now, though not because I was being attacked. If you have a powerful antagonistic neighbour though or a strong alliance have it in for you, basically it's game over. As you say, not a good balance.

I hadn't really noticed these things when I wrote this review because, believe it or not, none of my cities were ever attacked - I think it's because my alliance was strong, particularly close by my location. Having looked at the forums a bit though, you are far from the only person with this complaint.

CaptainD

Anonymous said...

while I haven't played the game, it sounds similar to Tribalwars, which also sounds a little more slower paced than evony.

as for getting attacked while you're away, if you are going to get resources and whatnot and this is a large scale multiplayer game, there's no way to fairly give protection as if it's anything like tribalwars it takes time to move your army from one spot to another based on the distance you must travel, so it's easy to exploit any kind of protection program set up for when you're not logged in as anyone who has an attack incoming can just log out for a while and then come back.

for tribal wars it introduced a more competitive nature than anything else and while there are always people who complain about one part of a game or another really the only way to keep it balanced is to keep it the way they do have it > . <

CaptainD said...

Also a good point.

At the end of the day you can't possibly have a competitive game without having winners and losers. Sometimes it's not fair... but that's life.

Kenneth Pfile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

a lot of players have lost game cents(which cost real $) when we contacted evony, we all recieved no response. SCAM, RIP OFF!!! never ever give ur money to those crooks!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to have to say that Evony is a complete rip off if you plan on buying their game cents.

I mean, $100.00 USD for just 1,000 cents which, is the equivalent of chatting in the world chat 1,000 times, or buying about 10 decent items. Items that you use in a single day. It just isn't worth it. I mean, if you go to buy the cents they even have a frigging option of buying $2000.00 USD worth of their game cents, who would pay that kind of money?!

Personally it all seems a lot like a scam but thats just me. Game is fun for free though.

CaptainD said...

I definitely agree that items are far too highly priced. As for people buying thousands of dollars worth... I can only hope there aren't people that foolish but experience suggests otherwise!!

Oliver said...

So, basically I guess that Evony is just another Travian-copy...?
Eventually with better graphics, but as far as I can tell, basically the same.

CaptainD said...

Essentially yes, but having just had a quick look at Travian, that looks very much like Tribal Wars to me, much moreso than Evony.

Anonymous said...

Saw an ad for Evony on Pirate Bay and I think they did a hell of a job with the design. The woman with the turned up head and ample cleavage is hard to take your eyes off of. When you click on the ad you go to their web site and she has little shooting stars flying into her cleavage. Outstanding job with the ad. I'm just saying....

Anonymous said...

I agree with above; the ads are very realistic; I was half expecting porn.
The game, though, is terrible.
They worked to hard to make the graphics realistic, and for this type of browser game, it just doesn't piece together nicely.
The gameplay is too complicated as well, as opposed to a simple, clean game like Travian.

Anonymous said...

Is Evony just a scam from Chinese gold farmers going first party? I have gathered together some information here: http://www.bruceongames.com/2009/07/10/dont-play-evony/

Anonymous said...

I played the game for about 15 minutes then I got a email saying I hacked their system files. Also, was a threat that if I ever played again they were going to tell the all websites not to let me play. lmao. I would love to know how I hacked thier files. my god it's a browser game. can you hack a browser game? Anyway I had some choice works for them. Clearly they are morons. Don't waste your time with the game.

Anonymous said...

Evony is a brand new real time mmorp game that is free forever but you can buy in game currency called cents. These allow you to buy items in the in game shop such as guidelines, which shorten research and construction times so you can advance in the game quicker. Also the game features a item which you can buy from the shop or get for free once per day if you log on called an amulet which lets you get random items which can be worth a lot of cents so you can still get stuff from the shop without paying. Another thing which helps guide you when you first start are quests which reward you for reaching certain targets such as having 100 population or building a lvl 3 town hall which when you get the target you receive a reward. The game has a simple and easy to use layout consisting of three screens town, city and map. The town screen shows the inside of your city and lets you build on building points in the city, it also lets you research certain things in your academy if you have built one in that city, you can build defences, recruit troops and heroes and appoint your mayor, you can also join alliances using an embassy so you can share advice and receive help when you are under attack. On the city screen you can build resource building on the plots, which the number of plots increases every time you upgrade your town hall. The final screen the map screen lets you control your forces and look where other people such as allies and enemies are and where npcs and valleys are. You can never get bored of the game because it is always changing and nothing is the same for long. It can get a bit boring waiting for stuff to be built or be researched but since it is real time it will build or research even when you are offline or doing other things so you don’t have to sit there waiting. Also if you go away or decide not to go on it for a while you will still gain resources and when you get back online you will have loads of resources to use. The game is very exciting with lots to do. All in all the game is brilliant and is recommended.

Written by Master1 server 24

shubhendu said...

evony-if u want to make friends or chat without downloading any messenger or want to rule a city evony is the game for u.u can make up to 10 cities or conquer valleys.the best part make your own army and attack other players online.you can join a alliance or make your own alliance and compete with other alliances to make your alliance no1 no 1 can stop u if u have a good defense.u can take other players city if the have more than 1 cities.plunder others make friends online and lots more in this action pack game.you will love it. now let me tell you something about the game.

getting started-
first make some cottages to invite a huge population then make resource fields to increase your production rate so when you log in next time you don't have to wait for resources to be enough for building. every time you login make sure you are researching something.

next step-
for first 7 days you are under beginners protection so nobody can attack you.or you can break the protection by building town hall to lvl 5.so use the protection for seven days don't make town hall to lvl 5.at that point of time make some resource fields and some more things which are essential like barracks,walls,academy,feasting hall,inn,and etc.

next step-
when your beginners protection is over what will u do?
make some traps and archers tower in walls so that if any1 attacks u .u r safe enough.and then make a army.ur army shoul be huge.but u need farms so dat ur production rate dont go in negative.u cannot attack if u dont have a hero.so make sure you have a hero.you should have atleast 2 heros so that 1 will be your mayor and you will attack with the other 1.

tax rate-

taxrate is imporatant in 3 ways.

1) for giving salary to heroes u need gold and gold comes from the tax set by you.
2) buying resources and promoting yourself so that you can keep more cities
3) researching

promoting yourself-

if you promote yourself yourself to knight you can keep up to 2 cities.if you promote yourself to boronet you can have up to 3 cities this go on & on like this.you can keep upto 10 cities.

how to promote yourself?

to promote yourself you will need some gold required amount of townhall and some medals.

where to get medals?

you can get medals by attacking in valleys.different valleys gives you different medals.for example level 1,2 and 3 valleys gives you cross and rose medals.level 4,5 and 6 gives you lion, honor, and courage medals.this goes on and on like this.

medals can be used for promoting yourself or by persuading a hero.

barracks-

most of the players says to make 3 kind of army.

1)archers
2)transporters
3)balista

these are the best for you as archers and balista attack them and transporters plunder them.

researching-

as a matter of fact researching everything is good.and you must research when you open your game account it should be the first thing you should do.

its a great game every1 should join it.

whoever wants to join it mail shubhendu2lion@gmail.com or login to www.evony.com.

lord name - somu10
server - world11
email - shubhendu_lion@gmail.com


yolay evony

Anonymous said...

The ONLY reason people are writing good reviews of the game is because Evony is currently having a contest, The winner will recieve 500 game coins.
The object of the contest is to write a " good " review of the game and have it posted on an internet site,blog,forum etc.
I agree that anyone who thinks this is a great game really should get out more and play some real games.
The graphics and game mechanics look like they were taken straight out of an old (circa 1980`s) nintendo NES game.
%99 of your time is spent building things a-la sim city, the other %1 of your game time will be spent fighting or "battling". Battling consists of recieving an in game text message telling you that either won or lost the "battle"
There is no way to control your troops in battle nor are there any graphics for the battle,just an in game text message.
The most exciting part of this game is reading all the complaints in the game forums about racist and vulgar ingame and alliance names , not to mention the growing number of complaints about players trying to extort nude pictures of other players in exchange for not attacking them and wiping out weeks or even months worth of building.
speaking of the game forums, dont bother posting anything in them, they are the most unprofessionally and unethically operated forums i personally have even seen.
forum rules are made up as they go along to suit the situation, forum mods often engage in trolling,baiting and flaming forum users.
The list of problems associated with this game and the game management is just too long to even list here.
There is absolutely nothing about this game that is worth wasting your time on,do yourself a favor and just stay away from this train wreck.

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Unknown said...

Do not............i repeat.....do NOT play this game. I have played for over 2 years and regret it after dealing with their supposed customer support for the past month. they ignore players, they have servers broken and dying and they don't have a clue how to fix them. players are asking and asking for help and getting ban'd for speaking up about the problems. they take your money smile then stab you in the back. they've institutued captcha, which most players HATE, and many players with disabilities are unable to read. i have normal vision and i can barely read them!
their moving s160 to a 'new' server has been a fiasco. after a week or more the server still isnt up, still isntn playing right, people are loosing items left right and center. other servers have HUGE issues with their server not working right at all. lags of 30 mins, unreadable maps, unable to see items, or do just about anything. all we have been asking for for 3 weeks is to have our server maintained and looked at and instead our players who speak up get ban'd, blocked and otherwise threatened by evony staff.

dont do it. dont!
stay away. don't go to the new server, they WILL put captcha there and screw up the entire server population. dont spend coins. dont bother complaining if you want to keep your account

stay away......stay far far away..........

Unknown said...

Do not............i repeat.....do NOT play this game. I have played for over 2 years and regret it after dealing with their supposed customer support for the past month. they ignore players, they have servers broken and dying and they don't have a clue how to fix them. players are asking and asking for help and getting ban'd for speaking up about the problems. they take your money smile then stab you in the back. they've institutued captcha, which most players HATE, and many players with disabilities are unable to read. i have normal vision and i can barely read them!
their moving s160 to a 'new' server has been a fiasco. after a week or more the server still isnt up, still isntn playing right, people are loosing items left right and center. other servers have HUGE issues with their server not working right at all. lags of 30 mins, unreadable maps, unable to see items, or do just about anything. all we have been asking for for 3 weeks is to have our server maintained and looked at and instead our players who speak up get ban'd, blocked and otherwise threatened by evony staff.

dont do it. dont!
stay away. don't go to the new server, they WILL put captcha there and screw up the entire server population. dont spend coins. dont bother complaining if you want to keep your account

stay away......stay far far away..........

paul wetzell said...

nice game, but no tech support.

paul wetzell said...

I just started playing again after more than 3 years away from it. the reason I stoped was I had 7 cities and one day I logged on and 6 of them where gone. Well support(or lack of)told me they can't find anything. So after 4months of going back and forth with them I stoped playing. Started back up about 2 weeks ago still had my one city. I have sent 51 emails and have got no response. There support sucks.

Dave Seaman said...

Paul - that sucks, can't remember how many cities I built up when I used to play this but I don't think it was that many, and to lose all but one of them in one go...

I'm really surprised people are still coming to read this review though!

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