Evony

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Evony
Evony logo
Evony‍‍ '​‍s logo
Developer(s) Evony, LLC
Publisher(s) Evony, LLC
Platform(s) Adobe Flash
Release date(s) May 6, 2009
Genre(s) Fantasy Medieval MMORTS
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Evony
Web address www.evony.com/
Alexa rank
Increase 1,366

Evony (formerly known as Civony) is an Adobe Flash-based multiplayer online game with graphic elements reminiscent of other similar real time games and is set in the European medieval time period. The player takes the role of a lord or lady and starts the game with a single small city where the player must build up internal buildings, like cottages, and external buildings, like farms, that produce resources (food, lumber, iron and stone), the basic building blocks for cities and armies in the game. Players must develop various technologies, recruit and train heroes, and enter alliances to make allies for both protection and for the purpose of attacking other players and alliances.

Gameplay[edit]

The gameplay of Evony.

Evony is set in a persistent world during the medieval time period in which the player assumes the role of a lord or lady of a city or alliance.[1] A new player is given "beginner's protection," which prevents other players from attacking their cities for a total of 7 days or until a player upgrades the town hall to level 5 or higher. This gives new players the opportunity to accumulate a few resources and troops and get accustomed to the game before other players can attack them.[1]

The player sets tax rate, production and construction. The resources in the game are gold, food, lumber, stone, and iron, and the city's idle population. As with similar games, the player first has to increase the city's population and hourly resource production rates as well as construction of certain buildings in the city, and then start building resource fields of their city and building an army. An army can include siege machines, such as ballistas, catapults, and battering rams, and foot troops, such as archers, warriors and swordsmen.[2]

All of Evony‍‍ '​‍s items must be purchased with cents which can be bought with real money, through its item shop in game or won at the wheel. some items will accelerate the player's progression through the game. Winning items in battle is the primary way for acquisition of resources and or cities.

Construction[edit]

  • Buildings: The city always holds 34 positions for buildings in town, where one is permanently occupied by the town hall, and up to 40 positions outside the walls (depending on the level of the town hall). The latter are resource fields. Each building can be independently upgraded from level 0 to level 10. Each time the town hall is upgraded it opens up three more resource fields. To upgrade a building from level 9 to level 10 it requires a special item - a Michelangelo Script. Initial construction may take from under a minute to several days. Until the introduction of Bernini's Hammer or Gundolf's Compass, there were not any queue options for buildings. Only one building may be queued unless special items are applied. Each upgrade requires double the cost of the previous level in resources used and doubles the time required. Building time may be reduced by researching the construction technology, and by assigning a hero with a high politic attribute as mayor. There is a speed up button, that will instantly finish buildings, or will allow the use of items that decrease building times. These items can be won through battle, spinning the wheel or purchased using cents.

Technology and military[edit]

  • Technologies: The 19 Technologies that start with level 0 and can be researched using an academy if one was built. Prerequisites may include specific levels of other technologies and buildings. Research time is influenced by the intel attribute of the hero assigned as mayor. Research time may also be shortened by using items.
  • Troops: Army units are built in the Barracks and can be queued. The level of the barrack determines how many slots can be used for training troops. Two factors influence how many units a player can train: the number of their idle population and their resources. One slot allows for one unit type. Training time is determined by the attack value of the assigned hero as mayor at the time of queue. There are also items that can shorten training time.
  • Fortification Units: Fortification units assist in the player's city's defense. They are built into the wall, where wall level determines queue slots available. The value increases with rising wall level. Unit building time is determined by the politic value of the hero assigned as mayor as well as that same hero's intel attribute.

Heroes[edit]

Heroes can be assigned as the "Mayor" of a city, lead attacks against other players or against NPC's/valleys. The hero earns experience points which increase their level, and provide attribute points which are placed in either politic, attack or intelligence. These attributes are crucial for succeeding in the game.

  • A high politics attribute of the mayor will shorten construction time for buildings, walls, wall defences, and increase production of resources.
  • A high intelligence attribute of the Mayor will shorten technology research time and assist in troop building in the highest troop type.
  • A high attack attribute of the mayor will shorten troop training time and assist in defence when being attacked and will increase the fighting abilities of the player's troops as well as longevity.

The core elements of the game are the Heroes (for building troops and defending) and the resources.

Interaction[edit]

The game features player versus player game play making it possible to attack another player's cities, and almost impossible for players that have not formed or joined alliances to survive. The level of the building called rally point in the attacking city determines how many attack waves and how many troops in each wave that can be sent in the attack. Unlike other games, buildings cannot be destroyed, but a city can be lost - even if the player is off-line. During an attack, a city can be reinforced by fellow alliance members or another of the players cities(requires an embassy). Various army units are available, and all battles are based on a player attacking another player's city, a Non-Player City (NPC) or Valleys/Flats. NPCs arise when a city is abandoned or during server maintenance. There are certain troop setups used to attack these NPCs favorably. Even if not favorable, attacking NPC's is used for leveling up the heroes however hero loyalty will drop and must be monitored. An NPC can be taken over, and if it's a level 10, all buildings will be at level 10, saving huge amounts of resources and time. However, certain reconfigurations may be undertaken to configure city layout, like dismantling cottages in favors of barracks, and - on older servers - dismantling farms in favor of other resource fields. Taking a NPC level 10 close to an opponent is a well-known strategy for staging attacks.

The game allows the player to control up to ten cities through gain of titles. To gain a title, a certain rank is necessary. Both Title and Rank require Medals gained by use of in-game coins to purchase medal boxes, by attacking valleys or winning medal boxes from spinning the wheel.

The game has two different monetary systems. The in-game monetary system revolves around gold. Gold can be obtained by completing quests, by taxing the city's population as well as attacking NPC's. It is also possible to sell resources for gold on the marketplace or to trade resources with other players within a player's alliance for gold. A player can also use real money to buy game cents with which to purchase items and resources from the in-game shop.[1]

Prestige is a measure of a player's rank in the game. Players gain prestige by following quests, building and upgrading structures, training armies and successfully attacking valleys and cities and other players outside the player's alliance. Honor is also a ranking system; however, it only changes with a successful or unsuccessful attack of or defense against another player. Honor also effects the amount of troops that may be healed. (higher honor=less troops healed). The overall ranking system that is displayed in the player's window is based solely on their prestige compared to other players in the remaining server population.

Map Levels[edit]

The game has three map levels: Town, City, and Map

Town: Shows the main town itself in the game and shows many of the game's buildings like cottages, barracks, workshops, walls, etc.

City: Shows the resource fields of the game and shows the farms, sawmills, quarry's, and ironmines which are the only buildings.

Map: Shows the game map from valleys to NPCs and to other people cities.

Flags[edit]

Every city in Evony has a different colored flags, depending on their relation to you:

  • Yellow - Your city(ies)
  • Red - player part of a hostile alliance
  • Green - player part of an alliance that you are in
  • Blue - player part of a friendly alliance
  • Black - NPC(Barbarian's) City
  • Grey - other player cities or neutral alliance member

AUTOMATION (Bots)[edit]

The game itself requires hours of effort every day for building up cities and for "farming", which is term used for attacking NPCs (Non Player Cities) for resources. In the early stages of the game, an automation option was offered from an external developer.

The original bot for Evony was called "evobot", which was written by jar3do, Straydawg, and gargit, in June 2009, shortly after Evony's launch. Evobot was a script-based bot which would execute commands in sequence as supplied by the user. While evobot could build, train, research and farm, since it was script-based, users had to program script commands in the exact sequence they wished executed. It did not lend itself to use in more complex scenarios where players wanted to build out cities over the course of several days or weeks.

Demand for this functionality resulted in gargit working with Straydawg and Bob to program a module known as "Autoevony City Management", which ran side-by-side with evobot's scripting engine. The city management code was 'goal' based, meaning players could give a "goal" they wish to achieve (say, build 10 level 10 cottages) and the bot would automate the process to achieve that goal. This meant player could leave their bot running for days, or weeks on end, unattended. Over time many "goals" have been added, to automate troop training, academy and workshop (Age 2) research, and farm NPCs.

For reasons unknown, a schism occurred in the development of AutoEvony (as jar3do became less involved with development of evobot), and the development took two code paths. Straydawg and gargit continued with development of one code path, which became what is known today as YAEB (Yet Another Evony Bot) and Bob continued his own development (still called Autoevony).

Bob was the first developer to have a version of the bot which ran on Age 2. He later, and still as of today, offers two versions - a basic 'farming' version which allows players to do a limited set of functions, and an 'elite' version that offers full functionality of the goals engine. The "elite" version requires a monthly subscription to use. Technically there are 4 distributed binaries of Bob's AutoEvony: a basic farming and an elite version for both Age 1, and a basic farming and an elite version for Age 2. Bob's bot is the most popular bot in use for Age 2, due to the small memory footprint of the farming version, so players can run many bots for all their alts on a single computer system. Hacked versions of Bob's "Elite" version are also available for download; however, Bob has introduced code into his bot to "abandon" cities when it detects a hacked version is being used, so players must use caution when using any hacked versions.

The developers of YAEB have never charged for their bot, despite claims by the misinformed. For several years Straydawg did run a forum hosted on a web server (since shut down due to the excessive amount of spam continuously posted on a daily basis due to exploits in phpBB, on which the forum was based; it has since relocated to Google groups, see link below). He did ask for donations to help offset the hosting expense, and those who donated were granted access to a special forum room they could ask for help, as well as a special Skype chat room where they could chat interactively with developers to get help. Later, as Evony implemented "captcha" technology to discourage the use of bots, Straydawg offered an automated captcha-solving service for YAEB users; this did require users to pay to access, because each time a captcha was solved there was a fee due to a 3rd party service which provided the solving service.

With YAEB, developers have come and gone over the years, at one time having a development team of 9 people. The software has had extensive features added to it (defend and rescue cities when under attack, multi-account castle rescue, evasion policies, hiding policies, etc.) and has undergone numerous rewrites to reduce its memory footprint, which has increased substantially due to the number of features it contains. Also, unlike AutoEvony or NEAT, which have static interfaces, today YAEB uses an "MDI" interface with multiple "windows" within its operating environment, so users can pick and choose what they wish to view.

Many of the developers of YAEB, frustrated by the Evony game itself, later left the YAEB development team and started Alliance Warfare, to program their own game. As a collaborative effort, the developers discuss new features and modifications in a developer Skype room and the proposer is ultimately responsible for coding and testing the changes. Most development today focuses on adding features that support Age 2 functionality (such as gearing, ring policies, legendary heroes, etc.)

As developers have come and gone, some have taken the YAEB source code from BitBucket and started their own branches when the collective of developers in the Skype room have felt a proposed change would be bad for the bot. NEAT is one such branch. The YAEB repository today is principally managed by gargit, with Straydawg and ScaryGoof, and is still under active development as of July 2015. YAEB now supports both Age 1 and Age 2. The same executable will support both Evony ages, so YAEB now carries the motto: "YAEB: The One Bot For All Ages".

The most popular branch of YAEB is called NEAT, which was branched off by two developers, Romulus and Inanna. NEAT only supports Age 1 players, and is also under active development today.

Evony players need to exercise extreme caution when they are given a bot executable to use. All EvoBot descendants are written in Actionscript and most are distributed as SWF files. Since SWF is compiled pseudocode, individuals with the proper knowledge and ill intent can decompile the SWF and add the ability to steal a player's username/password, or even reset their cities remotely, to the source code, before recompiling and redistributing it. Players who do use a bot should only download a version from a known developer's web site.

Multiple accounting is now the norm in Evony, and the game devs seem to have accepted the bots as inevitable. On new servers, however, Evony is limiting players to three accounts per IP number. On older servers the limit is 20 bots per IP. Most experienced players get around this by creating a computer with multiple Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and many of the larger players still run 30 or more accounts. This is entirely due to the common use of automation software.

Controversy[edit]

The main issue most players complain about is the unfair benefits given to some accounts in the game[citation needed]. Added to this, the almost total lack of any form of communication that meaningfully deals with client complaints, the issue remains one of players being unfairly treated. As a result, there are "Super Accounts" that have clearly cheated, and nothing is done to correct the imbalance[citation needed]. The Customer Service Department consists of a series of auto responders, and rarely, if ever does a complaint get addressed.[citation needed]

Advertising campaign[edit]

An Evony advertisement on a music streaming service

Evony‍‍ '​‍s 2009 online advertising campaign was criticized for featuring what The Guardian called "a string of increasingly racy images."[3] The images depicted females who, as the ad campaign continued, became increasingly unclothed,[4] none of which had any relevance to the game itself. In 2009 Gavin Mannion commented that Evony‍‍ '​‍s "latest ad is seriously pushing boundaries of what is acceptable to publish on Google".[5] Other ads used stock photographs from pornographic DVD covers.[6]

Evony has also been accused of promoting the game via "millions of spam comments left on blogs". The company denies they are responsible for the spam.[3] Others attribute the spam to players making use of the pyramid scheme-based iEvony affiliate program.[7]

Regardless of the widespread criticism of these advertising policies, the campaign was hugely successful. By late 2011, Evony counted 27 million registered users.[8]

2009 Legal action against blogger[edit]

On August 25, 2009, Evony's lawyers threatened to sue a critical blogger for defamation over a variety of allegations as to the game's provenance and the practices of the companies behind it.[9] The developers of Evony denied the allegations from internet blogger Bruce Everiss and sent a cease and desist letter for defamation based on Australian law.[10] Everiss responded by linking to a documentary which reportedly showed evidence of Evony‍‍ '​‍s fraudulent history.[11] Shortly before the case was due to begin in Sydney, Evony parted with their legal team and asked for an adjournment of the case.[12] After the adjournment, the case was resumed with a new hearing in March 2010. However, two days into the case, Evony withdrew the libel claim against Everiss.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lauterbach, Joel (2009-07-08). "Review: Evony". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  2. ^ "Evony : Game Information About Evony for Mac, PC and Linux at MMORPG.COM". MMORPG.com. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 
  3. ^ a b Johnson, Bobbie (2009-07-15). "Has Evony become the most despised game on the web?". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  4. ^ Tate, Ryan (2009-07-13). "Everything Wrong with the Internet in One Gaming Banner Ad Campaign". Gawker. Retrieved 2009-07-22. 
  5. ^ Mannion, Gavin (2009-08-13). "History of Evony Ads". Lazygamer. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  6. ^ Robert Quigkey (9 November 2009). "Sex Watch: Porn Models Used To Sell Online Strategy Game". Mediaite. 
  7. ^ Thompson, Michael (March 29, 2010). "Evony: investigating the game everyone loves to hate". Ars Technica. Retrieved November 19, 2012. 
  8. ^ http://kotaku.com/5850739/what-happened-to-evony
  9. ^ Everiss, Bruce (25 August 2009). "Evony want to sue me for telling the truth". Bruce on Games. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  10. ^ Everiss, Bruce (26 August 2009). "Why use Warren McKeon Dickson to threaten me?". Bruce on Games. Retrieved 2009-12-01. 
  11. ^ Everiss, Bruce (26 August 2009). "Interesting Video". Bruce on Games. Retrieved 2009-11-26. 
  12. ^ Everiss, Bruce (13 December 2009). "High drama in Evony LLC Vs Bruce Everiss". Bruce on Games. Retrieved 2009-12-20. [dead link]
  13. ^ Arthur, Charles (29 March 2010). "Evony drops libel case against British blogger Bruce Everiss". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 

External links[edit]