Evony Age II exclusive interview

Evony is one of the most famous free browser strategy MMO games ever, with millions and millions of registered users. We spoke to Darold Higa, Senior Producer at Evony LLC, about the second anniversary of Evony Age II, the past and the future.

Can you introduce yourself and your role on Evony?

Darold Higa, Senior Producer at Evony LLC.

What is Evony, and what is its major appeal to players?

Evony is a browser-based multiplayer online city-building game that is free to play. The game is set in medieval times, challenging players to establish a city, develop various technologies, and build supporting structures to generate armies and resources for the purpose of attacking other players and in-game opponents. Evony is also about making friends, and being part of a community, which in Evony is called an alliance. While it features Facebook Connect, the game is not played on Facebook, but rather on www.evony.com.

How do you place Evony in the current free-to-play segment? How big is the playerbase?

Evony has over 25 million registered players, making it one of the most popular free to play titles on the internet today. Evony boasts one of the largest communities for online strategic games.

What improvements did Evony: Age II bring to the original game?

• Accessibility – we've eliminated the attack button and replaced it with an option to colonize other players' cities. While a city is occupied you must pay taxes to the intruder, but you will never come home to find your city totally plundered.
• Historic cities – A historical city is an extremely valuable “capital city” of a region in Age II. If you own a historical city, you have far-reaching authority to set policies on cities in that state. For instance, imposing taxes, levying food, disarming 10% of any city's troops, drafting 10% of any city's troops and re-deploying population, all without ever having to attack or colonize cities.
• Facebook connect – share rewards, visit the cities of your alliance-mates, review strategies and send gifts to your buddies.
• Hero equipment including armor, swords, shields, etc. Depending on the style of equipment and the level the stats are increased more. Level 1 increases 1 stat by 1 point. Level 2, 2 points. Additionally you can socket gems into the armor and equipment to increase the stats further. There are 3 different gems. One effects attack, one politics, and one intelligence
• Historic Heroes – once your Inn reaches level 5, you may challenge some of history’s most notorious leaders (and take home epic loot if you can best them in combat).
• King/Queen quest – series of advanced challenges for top-level players, these quests present increasingly challenging missions which are well beyond the scope of most of the city-centric quests in Age I.
• Stratagems – these new tactics add real-time intelligence gathering, counterintelligence and espionage options to Evony.

Evony: Age II just had its second anniversary. How do you plan to promote this occasion?

We threw a huge party that you can read more about here: http://verticalwire.com/releases/2394–i-evony-i-celebrates-two-year-anniversary-with-contests-and-giveaways

Be sure to follow the Evony Twitter account: http://twitter.com/#!/evonyofficial and become a fan on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/evonygame for access to exclusive offers and promotions.

There was some controversy regarding Evony, namely the ads and malware accusations. With Age II, do you feel that the slate is now completely clean?

I think the ad campaign you are referring to ran nearly two years ago. Of course our ads target different segments (as ads usually do), and at the time we had great success gaining new players with those advertisements. Today’s campaign is far different, focusing on either social networking and battling with friends or on the strategy and conquest aspects of the game. All of our modern ads focus on gameplay, and do not include any racy images. So yes, it’s a clean slate = ]

And how do you plan to improve on Evony in the future? Are you planning an Age III?

For the time being, we’re focusing on opening new Age II servers and continuing to roll out tweaks. Stay tuned to our blog for upcoming announcements! http://evonygame.com/

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