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September 25, 2009 10:12 AM   Subscribe

We've covered web-based game Evony's peculiar advertising previously. Now intrepid gamers are playing/observing the thing, and finding a lack of both freeness and heaving bosoms.
posted by mippy (41 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, and the people behind the game are a little lawyer-happy too.
posted by mippy at 10:13 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


There are literally dozens of websites on the Internet

Indeed.

Does anybody else miss Old Man Murray?
posted by Justinian at 10:18 AM on September 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


I think FPShouter would be improved by having all his posts in ALL-CAPS. For me, anyways.
posted by eurasian at 10:28 AM on September 25, 2009


Cool! I'm intrepid!
posted by notmydesk at 10:28 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


A personal favorite from FPShouter.
posted by itchylick at 10:34 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


can somebody please explain to me, by the way, how a british blogger and games marketer can be sued in australia? is it like "don't you dare come to australia, you, 'cause then we've GOTCHA!" or can he be extradited for a civil suit? I imagine that, otherwise, he could just say "you know what? fuck you. I'm not going to australia just to be sued."
posted by shmegegge at 10:35 AM on September 25, 2009


FPShouter's masterly summation: "At least I never paid for it".
posted by boo_radley at 10:36 AM on September 25, 2009


Lawyer happy clowns in the gaming industry! UNPOSSIBLE!!!

I once did some freelance work that resulted in game (paper and pencil) company getting a cease and desist letter. Let's just say it'd be like the Dungeons and Dragons people claiming that elves and swords were their intelectual property (but that it wasn't TSR, et al.)
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:37 AM on September 25, 2009


Does anybody else miss Old Man Murray?

No. But I had been missing people who couldn't write a decent article if their child's life depended on it writing patronizing comments about someone else's popular column. Do you mind if perhaps I print out your comment and embroider it on a motivational needlepoint to remind me who my better is?
posted by Leth at 10:37 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Popcap, ever trying to be the "cool" casual game company, has made their own spoof campaign for Plants vs. Zombies.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:37 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


can somebody please explain to me, by the way, how a british blogger and games marketer can be sued in australia?

In theory via the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Act 1933. "The 1933 Act allows the judgments of higher courts in the countries with which the UK has entered into bilateral treaties to be enforced by registration. The States falling under this Act include Australia, Canada, Guernsey and India." (source)

Now whether this suit meets all the particulars I have no idea.
posted by jedicus at 10:40 AM on September 25, 2009


When Bruce On Games said he was being threatened by Envoy's lawyers, his first sentence is "I have written a number of articles on here telling the truth about what Chinese gold farmers are doing with the game Evony." Is speculation based on thin reports on message boards the truth?

That post was titled Is Envoy Malware? He clarified "Now I am not saying that Evony has a trojan in its client software. This would take proper technical investigation. What I am saying is that the possibility of this being so is such that I would not let Evony anywhere near my computer." The article was thin, and the conclusion reasonable but worded in such a way as to make Envoy look really shady without doing the necessary "technological investigation" to prove anything. Is setting up a clean test system to evaluate the malware claims that hard?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:40 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Popcap, ever trying to be the "cool" casual game company, has made their own spoof campaign for Plants vs. Zombies.

I admit, that made me laugh pretty hard.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:42 AM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


filthy light thief: Is setting up a clean test system to evaluate the malware claims that hard?

Setting up the clean test system isn't. Determining, with any degree of certainty, whether or not there is a malware component to a program is.
posted by Dysk at 10:48 AM on September 25, 2009


filthy light thief: "Is setting up a clean test system to evaluate the malware claims that hard?"

I suppose that depends on the dude doing it, but I'm not certain what you're necessarily getting at. are you saying that the libel suit has merit? or just that Everiss is exaggerating how truthful he's been in his claims?

to my mind, no it's not hard to set up a clean test system, but it's also not necessarily a given blogger's job to do so in order to say "this marketing is clearly suspect, and that makes me suspicious of their software and the possibility that it contains malware."
posted by shmegegge at 10:49 AM on September 25, 2009


I tried Evony for about a week, and it was fun in a kind of grindy way; build mills and mines and farms, harvest resources, slowly improve your city... it was weirdly addictive, and I got super-into it.

Then, as happened in the linked review above and as happens to every new player, my seven-day n00b protection ran out, and I could no longer just trundle forward, slowly building stuff. I actually had to defend my city against other players, which meant forming alliances with those who might be able to help me.

Which, fuck that. If those game designers think I'm the kind of person who enjoys forming alliances with other human beings, why the fuck do they think I just spent the last week solitarily staring into the pale blue glow of my laptop, open-mouthedly whispering "yesss" every time my lumber production went up?

So I quit. Take THAT, basic attempt to make me sociable!
posted by Greg Nog at 10:54 AM on September 25, 2009 [51 favorites]


I spent too much time playing Travian for a while. Travian seems more fun, but ultimately all these games want you to pay for something.
posted by GuyZero at 11:10 AM on September 25, 2009


Now intrepid gamers are playing/observing the thing

Even more intrepid gamers avoided the whole shitty mess entirely.
posted by graventy at 11:11 AM on September 25, 2009


So...I'm the only person on the internet who runs AdBlock?
posted by DU at 11:15 AM on September 25, 2009 [8 favorites]


I played Travian for a while, which looks to be about the same thing, only really free (and boobless). I did kind of enjoy the resource management stuff, and slowly spreading my empire like a cancer through the land. But as time went on, there was no particular fun left in any of it—I started an alliance, grew that for a while, then was subsumed into an even bigger alliance, mostly to avoid being preyed on by other, bigger alliances. We became the biggest alliance in the game, over a period of about three months, in part because the dudes who were running it were willing to spend hours a day on it. They coordinated attacks and defense, maintained trade, and used their surplus production to let new folks in the alliance grow insanely quickly. While I'd done similar stuff for my alliance, that took me, maybe, twenty minutes a day of checking in past the initial hardcore couple of days. But one of Travian's quirks was that nearly everything happened in eight-hour increments, which meant that these guys basically had to be on-call 24 hours a day, which I had no interest in.

Anyway, the second-largest alliance attacked our alliance; there was some sort of weird split among top members of ours who had been friends with theirs, but we still crushed them (in part because some of the hardcore in our alliance were willing to log in as other folks, making sure that they were hitting their eight-hour targets). After we'd won, the closest non-allied villages were, like, a six day march from my village, in real time. There was nothing to do, all resources anywhere near me had been claimed, and there was no ability to really increase the infrastructure. I realized that I'd been really only playing so that I didn't have to finish a paper on Hegel, and passed over my login to somebody else in the alliance.

I got an email about eight months later that my account was suspended due to too much activity from multiple IPs, then another a month or so after that saying that they'd reset the world. After the reset, I got emails from my former alliance wanting me to come back, but really, I'm not going through that bullshit again unless I get paid for it.
posted by klangklangston at 11:22 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


There was nothing to do, all resources anywhere near me had been claimed, and there was no ability to really increase the infrastructure.

amerika amirite
posted by DU at 11:24 AM on September 25, 2009 [7 favorites]


I remember reading the original thread on the ads and thinking it was kinda sad. I imagined that there were probably some programmers somewhere who had put a lot of time and effort into this thing, and then here it was getting basically ruined by really bad advertising that had nothing to do with the game itself.

Now, given that it was apparently created from the ground up as a cash cow, and especially that most of the graphics were stolen from other games, I have less sympathy.

Still, it's too bad. The concept--browser-based, free, multiplayer Civilization clone--actually sounds pretty cool. I don't play computer games much anymore, but I have fond memories of Civ2 and remember thinking how cool it would have been if that game had featured multiplayer. (Apparently it was re-released in a multiplayer edition a few years later, but that was after I'd moved on to other things I guess.)

I'd hate to think that a legitimate game created by developers who were really into the concept and passionate about creating something fun to play (rather than the virtual equivalent of a slot machine; just enough 'fun' to separate people from their money, over and over), might not have a chance now because these dicks did such a poor job.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:40 AM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


come to think of it, is there a browser based civ clone that's any good right now? multiplayer or otherwise, I suppose. civilization revolutions for the iphone/ipod touch has recently reinvigorated my old civ addiction something fierce.
posted by shmegegge at 11:46 AM on September 25, 2009


Bait and Switch 2.0
posted by tommasz at 11:48 AM on September 25, 2009


HeadOn doesn't work either. It's a stick of beeswax. Anyone not remember the ad campaign?

People who just want to make money don't really give a shit about the quality of a product or its marketing if they're making a profit sufficient to them, and it's a hell of a lot easier being notable for piss poor quality than superb.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:08 PM on September 25, 2009


I've been playing Evony for about a month. It was the previous Metafilter post that got me into it. Not the prospect of boobies ('cause there's none of those to be found), but rather the idea of playing a Civ-like game with a bunch of other people for free. This was my first MMO, and it was okay, but I'm getting pretty tired of it now.

It is free, but the players who pay for things get a massive advantage. When you start they give you a "beginner's package" with some useful stuff in it, and in theory you can win any item in the game on the "Wheel of Fortune," but all of that stuff only gets you so far. And once you use up all the free items and build yourself a decent sized city or two, that makes you a very appealing target for other players.

The real attraction of Evony is war. After you get through the newbie stage, you play it so you can beat the stuffing out of other players. It can be very frustrating, slowly building up a city by growing resources, then losing it all to some jerk who bought himself the resources to build a massive army. And if you want to build yourself a decent sized army to get revenge, that can take weeks. And alliances aren't much help if you don't live close to anyone friendly.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:08 PM on September 25, 2009


Evony, apply palm directly to face! Evony, apply palm directly to face! Evony, apply palm directly to face! Evony, apply palm directly to face! Evony, apply palm directly to face!
posted by The Whelk at 12:23 PM on September 25, 2009 [11 favorites]


The Sizzle is offensive and the Steak sucks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:05 PM on September 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


It can be very frustrating, slowly building up a city by growing resources, then losing it all to some jerk who bought himself the resources to build a massive army.

So... that sort of means that this game's business model is predicated on revenge, by buying up a huge army to take down the guy who just raided you. That's kind of funny.

This game is incredibly cynical of humanity, all around.
posted by amuseDetachment at 1:29 PM on September 25, 2009


It seems that Magic: The Gathering Online was not quite similar enough to the real-world experience of punching yourself repeatedly in the face and paying $0.10 per punch for the privilege.
posted by Shepherd at 1:38 PM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


shmegegge: I liked your question, so I asked it on the green. Here's hoping!
posted by soelo at 1:38 PM on September 25, 2009


The concept--browser-based, free, multiplayer Civilization clone--actually sounds pretty cool.

Reminds me of one of the coolest pipedreams in the history of vaporware: Society, a persistent MMO 4X game from Brad "Galactic Civilizations" Wardell. Fully customizable, lightweight system requirements, free gameplay.

According to the last update on the teaser website, it was "36 to 48 months" away from completion as of June 2006, so who knows? We might see it yet.
posted by Iridic at 1:45 PM on September 25, 2009


"So... that sort of means that this game's business model is predicated on revenge, by buying up a huge army to take down the guy who just raided you. That's kind of funny.

This game is incredibly cynical of humanity, all around."

If you play Evony you're going to spend money or time. I've been playing for free, so it's been a really slow slog, punctuated by frequent setbacks when I get plundered. The people who lay out cold, hard cash are taking the express route, which makes them dominant in the game. I guess the third way to succeed would be if you join an alliance that freely shares resources, but to do that you have to relocate your cities close to your allies, and that again takes money. Or luck, if you win a "teleporter" on the wheel.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:56 PM on September 25, 2009


One thing I have been fascinated by is what other players sometimes reveal in conversation. One woman in my alliance is a trauma surgeon at a hospital in Southern California, and it was really interesting to read what she had to say about the stress of her job, and how she plays the game to relax. I guess a lot of people are playing Evony at work.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:04 PM on September 25, 2009


Iridic: "Reminds me of one of the coolest pipedreams in the history of vaporware: Society, a persistent MMO 4X game from Brad "Galactic Civilizations" Wardell."

which would be the fucking bombest thing EVAH. galciv is phenomenal. which reminds me, stardock dearly needs to work on their mac support... for my sake. either that or I need a hefty holiday bonus to buy a new gaming pc.
posted by shmegegge at 2:13 PM on September 25, 2009


Anyway, the second-largest alliance attacked our alliance; there was some sort of weird split among top members of ours who had been friends with theirs, but we still crushed them

Wow, I think I played on this server.

Oh wait, that's all travian servers
posted by fiercekitten at 3:37 PM on September 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thanks for reminding me to check on my cities. It really is a slow-mo game -once you start building things in earnest it takes days. The only real bonus for me is that I can log in at work and start things building.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:36 PM on September 25, 2009


It's a game. A game. A silly game.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:47 PM on September 25, 2009


I'm another old fan of Civ and got hooked into playing this earlier this summer. Spent a long week building up a city, thinking I'd done a good job, and was even getting into the idea of alliances and having fun when my noob protection expired and I got trounced.

I decided to take my experience and try a new city. Surely I would learn from my mistakes and do better. Nope. Trounced again on the eighth day.

I was trying to decide how to recover from that when the Bruce on Games article came out. Then I saw the boobie ads. Rather than enticing me to play, it insulted me so much that I haven't logged in since.
posted by saffry at 4:54 PM on September 25, 2009


ALl of these things lack the story-telling aspect of the CIV games where I get to pretend I'm some deathless vampyr guiding my ornate and alien civilization toward dominance, creating little stories in my head about fruit rations and draft propaganda and the strange cities and colonies I maintain and expand.

I should never be put in charge of anything important.
posted by The Whelk at 5:09 PM on September 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


I don't quite understand the allure of webgames like these.

They are descendants of Hamurabi (mapless sim), but they are incredibly similar to the various BBS games whose names I don't remember. I never enjoyed the BBS games much, but at least they often presented options; besides managing your kingdom and attacking others you could enter jousts, explore dungeons, etc. But all in all the level of detail was so low that it seemed like nothing interesting would happen.

For my $0, Dwarf Fortress vomits on these games, slaughters them, butchers them, renders the fat into tallow and makes shoes out of the leather from their tanned hides.

Maybe it's the social component making up for a lack of gameplay, but the interactions are so minimal and lame in these games as well.
posted by fleacircus at 3:48 AM on September 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


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