Review: Evony, a Fun Military Strategy Game MMORTS

Introduction
Evony (evony.com) is a fun military and political strategy role-playing game. It is a relatively new game, beginning in May of 2009, but, during a short amount of time, they have built their membership up to nearly 10,000,000 players, making things very interesting due to all of the competitors and allies that can be formed.

Evony is a browser-based multiplayer online game with graphic elements similar to Civilization. It functions as a MMORTS (Massively Multiplayer Online Real Time Strategy) game, which continues to run its course. 24/7, even when players are not logged on. The advantage of this is that it allows players in all different time zones to play the game Whenever they choose and it allows your resources, construction and recruiting to continue even while you are not on playing the game. One big disadvantage is that your resources are used and your cities may be attacked when you are not playing the game, which prevents you from remedying any problems or preparing defense against attackers.

The game takes place in a medieval setting with castles, medieval heroes, player ranks, farming, military troops, medieval weapons and a whole lot more.

Playing Evony is free and anyone can join, making it a very accessible game. However, there is an optional paying aspect. The game uses coins for the purchase of special items that can help you proceed faster with the game, but is not really necessary for the average player. Coins are purchased with real money, starting at $5 for 50 cents, which really does not buy too much but, the site offers special packages at various prices that can offer you various bonuses. It’s been my experience that few players spend a ton of money with which to defeat others but, it has been known to occur.

Beginner’s Protection

The first seven days after joining the game, Evony grants players “beginner’s protection,” which means that other players cannot attack you and you cannot attack them until this period is over. This period of time, allows players to learn how to play the game and build our defenses, in preparation for attacks after it is over. It is a good idea to join an alliance during this time, so other more experienced players can protect and give you advice on how to play and what to do during attacks.

Graphics

The graphics of the game are not very intricate or detailed, so do not expect vibrant, animated playing screens. Most of the graphics are inanimate screens with minimally art — basically small drawings of buildings, land, castles, etc. The only animation during the game is when you can build or upgrade and you see little construction guys hammering away. This is a strategy game that is menu-based, not graphics-based, so, if you want great graphics, this game is not for you. If you only want a game that focuses on strategy, minimal graphics and more on text, such as Mafia wars, Farmville or Vampire wars on MySpace or Facebook, then Evony is right up your alley.

Main Goal

The main goal of the game is to balance your resources to build troops, weapons and buildings and to satisfy your citizens and heroes, so that they remain loyal and stay in your city. You need to satisfy all of the above, while protecting your city or cities from hostile players. At the same time, you are allowed to attack others for their resources but, with proper information about the enemy or you will fail, lose some or all of your own troops, plus run the risk of retaliation.

Building

Evony has several kinds of buildings that need to be built during the game. Outside of the city walls are resource plots, were resources, including farms (food), sawmills (wood lumber), quarry Fields (stone) and iron mines (iron) are produced. Inside the city walls are several plots to build all of the city buildings, from cottages, marketplace and stables to barracks, beacon towers and relief stations, plus a whole lot more. Each building can be upgraded from levels 1 to 10, with each subsequent upgrade increasing the capacity and strength of the building. Also, each subsequent building upgrade takes longer and longer to complete, depending on the nature of the building.

Research

Almost every aspect of Evony requires players to perform and upgrade research for many different tactics and activities within the game. Research is done through the Academy using different levels, from 1 to 10, each level more powerful than the last. The goal is to increase its research category to level 10. As you reach higher levels, each upgrade will cost considerably more resources and a lot more time. Once you get past level 5, for most categories, it will take 12 hours or a few days for each subsequent upgrade.

Valleys

There are five kinds of valleys within Evony including, lakes, swamps, grasslands, forests hills and deserts. Lakes, swamps and grasslands increase the production of food. Forests increase the production of lumber; hills increase iron and deserts increased stone. They come in 10 different levels, the higher the level of the harder they are to conquer and the more they increase production. Depending on the level of your town hall, you can own various numbers of valleys to increase your overall production. If you just attack but don’t conquer valleys, you can earn various medals in each level of the valleys, for use in increasing player titles and number of cities you are allowed to own.

Prestige amp; Titles

Each player earns prestige points for almost everything done within the game, from building, research and farming to attacking and defending. All of the players on Evony are ranked by the amount of prestige they have earned.

There is also a ranking system of the military title of your character, such as Civilian, Knight, and Prinzessin. The higher the title, the more cities you can own — civilians can own one city, knights can own two, etc. To move up the ranks in titles, a specific number of medals are required to be purchased or earned within the game. Various medals can be found when attacking different level valleys.

NPC

Another aspect of the game is the plundering of resources from NPCs (non-playing characters), which pre-exist in the game or can be created by players when they build cities and abandon them. These cities can be attacked repeatedly for resources about every eight hours. Production within player cities will be enough in the early phases of the game but, after a few weeks, it will not be enough to sustain your city at the levels required to build higher-level buildings and defend against hostile players. This is where NPCs come into play.

NPCs cannot be owned, only attacked for resources. The higher the level of the NPC, the more resources they hold and the more difficult they are to successfully attack. They are, however, considerably easier to defeat than real players’ cities. The fact that you can repeatedly attack them without retaliation afterwards is a great bonus, making them a great resource.

Heroes

Heroes are required to run your cities as mayor and leads attacks on valleys, NPCs and opponent cities. Heroes are recruited at the Inn at pre-determined levels and attributes. The three attributes of heroes include, politics (increases the speed of building), attack (increases the strength of attacking with troops) and intelligence (increases the speed of research).

The level of the hero is determined by the amount of experience he or she has with building, finding or researching. It is a good idea to switch which hero is mayor depending on your current activity. If you want to build, use a mayor with higher politics. If you want to research, use a mayor with higher intelligence. For attacks, said your hero with the highest attack level into battle.

Teleporters

In the event that your cities are made the target of repeated attacks by the same players, the game offers teleporters to relocate your cities to any state within the world of Evony. Early on, players receive a few teleporters that allow you to relocate your cities to random locations within the state of your choosing. These are useful in serious attacks but, the randomness means that you have no control over where in the state your city will be relocated — you could end up in the middle of hostile territory, worse off than before you teleported. Advanced teleporters, which allow you to relocate to specific coordinates, are available for 90 game cents. These teleporters are great because they allow you to move to friendly areas, which you can scout out before relocating there.

Advanced teleporters are also good for relocating your city next to the enemy, so you can attack them suddenly and quickly. Players with real money invested in the game are able to use this means of travel to take their target city by surprise. I have never seen a player use an advanced teleporter for this reason but, it is possible, so someone probably has done it before and will do it in the future.

Alliances

Another key feature, which will help you succeed in the game, is the ability to join or create alliances of friendly players. These alliances allow several dozen or even over one hundred players to join forces and form conglomerates for the purpose of protecting one another. There is always safety in numbers and alliances are a necessity, if you expect to survive and excel for more than a few lucky weeks.

In addition to creating and joining alliances, two or more alliances can become friendly (agree not to attack one another), neutral or hostile (can attack one another at will). While friendly or neutral agreements between alliances offer a level of protection and safety, these terms can change at any given moment, so don’t depend on it. Something else to consider is that, if you’re surrounded by friendly or neutral alliances that cannot be attacked, you’ll have to travel greater distances to attack other hostile cities for resources. Sometimes it’s good to have hostiles closer for you to attack, provided your troops and defenses are sufficient to defeat hostile cities, which will undoubtedly attack your cities at some point.

Strategy amp; Learning Curve

Although Evony offers minimal graphics and lots of text with menus, like Mafia wars, the actual game play requires a lot more strategy than any game you will find on MySpace or Facebook. Most of those games, you can just jump right in without too much of a learning curve. Evony, on the other hand, has a much higher learning curve beyond the basics. The basic setup of the city is pretty simple and, for beginning players, the game offers quests that show you how all of the basic tools, buildings, troops and research work. The quests show you how to set up your basic city and you can repeat them on every future city. After you learn the basics on your own and through quests, the strategy becomes much more difficult due to the different attributes of building amp; research levels and the many different troops amp; defensive devices and how they all correlate to one another.

Evony utilizes moderately complex formulas to determine how strong a player’s troops, offense and defense is in correlation to the hostile player’s attributes. Each troop, offensive and defensive device operates in different ways and at different speeds, making it a fairly complex calculation when you want your troops to attack the most advantageous times, if they are to defeat the opponent and obtain the most resources. There are many websites about Evony, including the game site and its forums, that go into great detail in explaining all of the attributes of everything within the game and how best to use them. If you really want to excel in this game, you will want to do considerable research into learning everything about each of the aspects of each type of troop and weapon in order to best utilize them in attacks.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Evony is a fun MMORTS game for those who love war tactics and war strategy. This review is just a quick and brief rundown of the ins and outs of the game. For further information, visit the additional links in the sidebar. Give the game a try and see if you like it. Be prepared to spend a lot of time upgrading during the first few weeks. Once you can start successfully attacking others, it will be picked up and be well worth the wait.

You can find me on the game on server 130. My lord name is LordLupine, currently in the state of Swabia and am a member of alliance Ferus.