Evony Hands-On Review (Formerly Civony)
July 16, 2009 at 9:14 pm by Ruibo
The last 2 months I’ve been seeing ads of Evony the game all over the web and after seeing it for the thousandth time I couldn’t help but give it a try — hey, who could resist ads with pretty faces all over it? Well, don’t be surprised because it has nothing to do with pretty faces.
Evony is a free to play browser based MMORTS (Massive Multiplayer Online Real Time Strategy) game where you can build up your city and army in order to expand your territory and conquer other enemy players or NPCs. You can sign up to Evony here if that has already intrigued you.
Evony resembles many other RTS games such as civilization, ages of empire and many others. The learning curve for Evony is very simple due to their quest system which guides new players through their interface. You can easily grasp the concept and the main functions of the game in as little as 1 to 2 hours playtime.
The three main screens of interface is separated into three parts, the world map, the town and the city. In the world map, you’ll find other NPC & player cities, valleys (resource fields) and empty slots where you can conquer to progress further into the game. The city is where you can build farms, sawmills, quarries and iron mines to increase your resource production. The town is where you’ll construct most of your buildings for advancement. Military training and research is also constructed here.
The game starts you off in a random (usually the newest) server in an empty town with only a Town Hall and your job is to build up the stranded city, army and slowly conquer your way through. Building new facilities, researching, and training troops requires an X amount of time to complete. The lower level the facility, the quicker it will take. The first building you’ll develop is the cottage which takes 1 min and 15 secs, but the second level will require twice as much time and as more levels are acquired, the longer it will take. Some buildings can even take over 12 hours.
Each city in Evony is limited to constructing 1 building at a time. You cannot set a queue to build a second or third building when one is finished. This requires a player to come back and check on the progression very often. Its not about how much time you spend on the game once but how many times you spend on it through out the day. As you acquire more and more cities however, you will have more than enough tasks to spend your whole day playing.
Other than gathering resources, consistently upgrading buildings you’ll also need to manage your taxes, population and the loyalty of your citizens. You’ll also need to appoint a mayor which we’ll get to shortly. Unlike most RTS games you’ve played, the ideal tax rate for Evony depends on two major factors, idle or actively playing. The population will effect the amount of gold you’ll receive from taxes, production, and how many units you can recruit into your army.
Always having enough resources to continuously construct new buildings may get difficult, thus you’ll need to put good use of the market place. In the market place, you can buy & sell food, lumber, stone and iron. You can even create offers or bids and wait until your price is met. However, there is a small auction fee.
Once you’ve created an inn and a feasting hall you can hire a Hero to lead your army or become a Mayor. Each Hero has 3 stats, politics, attack and intelligence. Politics will decreases your cities construction time and resource production. Higher attack increases your combat and how fast your units will be trained. Intelligence shortens the time required for research and scouting ability.
Your heroes will acquire experience points through combat, mayor duties or through items. There is an hourly fee for maintaining a hero, and the salary will vary depending on their level. You can dismiss and replace heroes at anytime. A hero is also required to lead your troops into combat.
Military & Combat
There are a variety of military units available ranging from infantry, archers, cavalries, mechanical units and transporters. All units has a maintenance cost of X amount of food. Their movement, health, attack and defense can be upgraded with research. Training new units will require taking away civilians from your overall population.
Once you’ve developed your army and have a hero in place, you’ll need to go to the World Map screen to conquer new lands and terroritories. There are 3 basic types of land that can be conquered, valleys, empty lots and cities. Valleys provide additional resources, empty lots are used to build new cities and cities can be plundered and if attacked enough times you can even take it over. However, if you are attacking a player city, and if that is their only city, you will not be able to take it over.
The combat in Evony is calculated through their algorithm, no actual fighting is visible. Its either a win or loss and the results are reported in writing. You lose x amount, they lose x amount and etc. Attack, defense, health and even movement is factored into the calculation.
For example, you’re attacking with warriors, cavalries and archers, the archers will start off in combat because of their range followed by cavalries and then warriors last. In result, if your archers do enough damage, you may win without even going into melee range. Or your cavalries will take more damage than your warriors because they arrived in melee combat first.
The rally point has an exercise option which servers a skirmish for battles and will calculate the results. Your research and hero attributes are not factored but it does give you an idea of what to attack with.
Titles & Ranks
As your city grows, you will gain Prestige points which is basically a rating of how well you are doing. There is an overall ranking that is compared among all other players in your city as well. As you progress, you will be able to acquire new titles and ranks. Some ranks are extremely difficult to acquire, it requires gold and medals (which are very rare to find). The medal drop rates on new servers are about .1% or less. The easiest way is to spend a few dollars and purchase the medals you’ll need. The higher the rank, the more cities you can control, up to a total of 9.
There are many different types of items available in Evony which can help speed your production, moving your city location, experience points and much much more. When you first start, you’re given a TON of items to try out and help enhance your gameplay. Items can also be acquired by quest rewards and using real money.
Alliances are what most MMO players know as guild or clans. By joining with other alliances, you can have friends who can offer assistance through knowledge, resources, raids and much more. Possibly even scaring another player from attacking you if they know you’re in a well rounded alliance. Each alliance can only have a maximum of 100 players and have a ranking of their own.
One flaw I currently see in the game is when you first start, there is not much interaction with other players you intend to play with. Your city is picked in a random location, you are given a city teleporter but that is also random. Further on the game you’ll receive an advance city teleporter which then you can move your city near friends if empty lots permit. Last but not least, the medals are TOO difficult to acquire in which you’ll be more or less forced to spend money in order to play aggressively and compete with others.
After a few days of play time, I can say the game is very enjoyable and the fact that I do not need to spend a whole lot of hours on it is very ideal to me. I spend most of my day in front of the computer and alt tabbing to hit build or attack once in a while is a relief from work. If you’re the type that really enjoys civilization type of games but wish it could’ve been with 100 other players then this might work just for you.
Final Conclusion – If you don’t mind forking out some money then this game is definitely worth playing but otherwise, there are many other games that are really free and good. Again, here is the sign up link and enjoy!