What is Evony?
Warning: You won't find any pictures of sexually suggestive Evony ads on our site. However, many articles used to research this article and linked to below will expose you to images of Evony's questionable banner ads. Click on these links at your own risk.
Evony is a medieval-themed MMORPG (massively multiplayer online roleplaying game). Formerly known as Civony, the game is similar in appearance and feel to the Civilization game series. You've probably seen ads for Evony; its banner ads generally feature a cleavage-bared, provocatively posed woman and a message such as "Come play, my lord," or "Help! Save the Queen," or "Save your lover now!" In addition, ads for Evony sometimes feature a message such as "Play discreetly, even at work." From all appearances, this medieval-themed game contains "NSFW," pornographic content.
Evony is very largely based on math algorithms that solve who wins a battle, and how long it takes to travel distances, how many troops you can send at one time, etc. Each type of soldier has their own speed, attack, and a number of how much stuff they can carry. These factors come into use while attacking, re-enforcing, or traveling to flats or other cities. The number of troops you can send depends on the level of the embassy in your city. There are a wide variety of troops, each of which counters a different kind, and is vulnerable to other kinds. The war scene is based on a series of rounds, during which the troops start at a certain distance and the battle begins. Structures or troops with great range can begin firing as soon as their prey comes within range. Ballistas are especially efficient against just straight wall defences, because they can take them out with out getting hit. Another factor in the battle is the hero you send with the army. Each city can hold up to ten heroes, and each group outgoing needs a hero to lead them. As heroes fight and win battles they gain experience which can be used to level up some of their attributes. These attributes effect how strong your troops will fight, and if the hero is made mayor, also how fast your troops train, your buildings build, and how much food you get. There is also a tax rate you set on your city that gives you gold, or takes it away from you. It affects the loyalty of your town. If you have a 10% tax rate, your town will have a 90 level of loyalty. Each succesful attack on your city lowers the loyalty, and after dozens of attacks, your city can eventually fall to the enemy if it is not your last city. So it's fairly complicated and can attract math whizs or algorithm lovers.
Some of the more common terms as you get higher in the game include:
Scout Bombing - refers to sending 100k scouts at a city to destroy/use up the wall defenses, is easily stopped by opening your gates and letting your troops kill them off.
Instant troops - this happens when the mayors attack level is so high that when you set to build troops, they will build instantly. This is extremely hard to achieve and often requires hundreds of hours playing the game to do.
Honor - this number is gathered as you win battles and kill enemies. Despite it's name, is it not a very advantageous thing to have in the game. Because after a battle, there is normally a percentage of the troops you can heal and save. However, if you have honor points, that percentage drops from 50% to 15%, and so by scout bombing or losing hopeless battles, you can lose honor.
Prestige - this number is a pretty good indicator for how much you have built, and how much time you have spent playing the game. This number increases as you train troops and build buildings and defeat other players.
Holiday - there is a mode you can put your user in called Holiday that prevents them from being attacked for a duration (normally while you're on vacation), however, their flats can be taken.
Flats - these are territory places that give you bonus resource production, they can be reinforced by your troops at a greater food cost, and you can defend them from enemies, and conquer them from barbarians or other enemies currently occupying them.
Truce - this is an item you can use to prevent your cities from being attacked for 12 hours. This is good especially when you see 50 waves on the move for your city and you want to save it. It will not stop the 50, but it will prevent followers.
Evony, thanks for showing us what it means to take advertising on the Internet to the absolute rock bottom . . . then dig a sub-basement under that, and keep on digging until you reach the white-hot molten core of the Earth. I've always wondered what that would be like. I guess now I know.
—blogger Jeff Atwood 1
While Evony's ads have been criticized for being suggestive, they've actually drawn even more fire for being false advertising. If it's any comfort to concerned parents, Evony's ads are quite misleading: the hypersexualized damsels in distress are nowhere to be found in the actual online game. The images and assurances that you can "play discreetly" lead a user to believe that the game will contain sexual content, but this isn't the case. According to Evony, the suggestive images are solely for "marketing purposes." 2
Evony's over-the-top, deceptive ads have been not only criticized but mocked. Popcap launched a satirical campaign for their game Plants vs. Zombies the features gray-skinned zombies in similar poses as the Evony "queens" and jabs at the game with lines like "Brains Now, My Lord?" 3
Other games have made tongue-in-cheek allusions to Evony's failure to live up to its racy advertising. One such ad for a game called Alteil reads "She is actually in our game, my lord." 4
Criticisms of Evony
Evony has been lambasted by claims that it is associated with a shady World of Warcraft gold mining site from China. 5 ("Gold mining" sites hire low-paid workers to earn virtual money in MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and then sell the money to other players of the game. This is against the rules of most games. 6) British gamer Bruce Everiss was taken to court by Evony's owners for writing several blog posts detailing the ways in which Evony had supposedly broken the law and acted deceitfully. But the lawsuit was dropped in March 2010 after just two days of hearings. 7
It has also been claimed that the images of women in the Evony ads are copied directly from the cover of a 2007 pornographic film. 8
Many gamers claim that Evony is merely a copy of dozens of already existing online games, such as the Civilization games, Kingory, and Travian. As time goes on, however, it is difficult to tell who is copying whom; many similar games exist, but who knows which one came first? 9 And others still criticize Evony's business model, which encourages users to spend money and often charges users in unclear or deceptive ways. 10
Concerns for Parents
- The racy ads of busty women in sexually suggestive poses makes the game look like quest-coated soft pornography. Oddly enough, the game is not overly sexual. In fact, Evony has been criticized and mocked for its advertising; the scantily clad damsels on the banner ads aren't anywhere to be found in the actual game. The skanky banners do their job by getting Web users to play the game, but from there, the game contains little sexual content.
- Evony has also been criticized for the time commitment required for a user to excel. The game is set in a "persistent universe," meaning that even when you sign off, other users continue to play. While you are away from the game, you can be robbed or attacked, which will set you back in the game.
The game is made up of many small quests and tasks that can win you currency within the game. However, there's no real end goal to work toward. This makes the game addictive for some, since you never feel as though you're finished playing.
This game also has a very high probability of the user being verbally abused, especially if they are dominating other players, or if somebody disagrees with their alliance name. A lot of people put up a face of racism, sexism, and religious persectution because they are "safe" behind their computer screens, especially because they wear a different name.
You receive the tokens necessary for building and buying in two ways: (1) Performing well in the game (2) Paying with real money. This means that, if your child is addicted to Evony, he or she may be shelling out real cash in order to stay on top of the game.
How Can I Keep My Child Safe?
- Evony isn't inherently bad as far as content goes—sexual material and violence are at minimal levels in this game. However, this game is potentially addictive. Talk to your child about online gaming addiction.
- Talk to you child about the dangers of pornography if you fear they were lured into Evony by a sexually suggestive ad.
- As a parent you may want to consider your willingness to support an otherwise innocuous game that seeks to attract potential players through the use of flagrant sexual content in their advertisements.
Where Can I Learn More?
Warning: You won't find any pictures of pornographic or sexually suggestive Evony ads on our site. However, many articles we used to research this article and that we have linked to below will expose you to images of Evony's skanky banner ads. Click on these links at your own risk.
Here's one writer's critique of Evony including a discussion of its advertising approach and business model.
This review talks about the pros and cons of Evony from a gamer's standpoint.