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Evernight: Reign of Darkness by FABIO 05/17/2005, 10:05pm PDT
I subscribed to Evernight a couple years ago. The basic premise is that around 20 players start out on a map with a fortress, and money. Build more troops and have them conquer more land to increase your income. New troops can only be deployed at forts, built forts with money. Different terrain offers different advantages. Eventually you start running into other players, fighting some, striking alliances with others. The majority of players will eventually get wiped out. The game ends when one player accumulates enough magic to summon his god, which ends the game. At that point the person with the most territories wins. People with the same religion as the player who summoned his god get a bonus. Different games move at different speeds (one turn can pass every 10 minutes or every 2 days) and you can choose which suits you best.

One neat aspect was magic. Magic points, or "fury", is gained by inflicting casualties in combat (at least until later on when you can sacrifice your own guys for it). You can cast all sorts of extremely helpful movement or combat spells with it. One of the most interesting parts about magic was that only one spell could affect each territory pet turn, and if there was going to be a vital battle at a certain territory, you had to make sure it was your spell and not your opponent's. Although each spell had a minimum fury cost, you could throw as much as you wanted into each casting in an attempt to "outbid" your opponent. Whichever spell had the most fury put towards it was the one cast in that territory. Extreme mind games trying to second guess your opponent while trying not to blow all your fury.

Another use for fury was summoning your god's avatars, massive demons who could take on anywhere from 70 to 1200 regular troops. Each avatar requires an initial fury payment to summon along with additional fury to "fuel" it. The "fuel" allowed the demon to exist for a certain number of turns before it started taking damage and you had to get it back to a temple and unsummon it, at which point you could summon it again at any other temple at just the fuelling cost. Each god's avatar has wildly different abilities. One is cheap, weak, but levels up the fastest. Another conceals all troops with it and can travel undetected through forests. Another is a super strong dragon that can fly over any terrain, but has the lowest amount of fuel.

A final use of fury was casting 'black betweens", turning terrain into black voids that were key in summoning your god and ending the game. There were 6 of them, each one costing exponentially more to cast (the first 125, the last 4000). Each one also boosted the strength of your regular troops, so they were a long term investment.

Then there's the diplomacy. It was both good and bad. The good was that it could be pretty intricate. You could strike a non-aggression pact with one player so you could concentrate on another front, only to have another player smash through him and start heading towards you. Will this newcomer respect your territory or expand through your undefended border? Do you help your ally or ditch him and side with the stronger player? The bad is that you have to negotiate with these fags. If you're anything like me and abhor talking to your average online gamer during play, this is a huge drawback. You'll often get the people thinking they're at a Renaissance faire. They're not quite as bad as Earth 2025 players, but they can be close. "sure would u like 2 ally 3 turn nap? ^_^". That's "3 turn non-agression pact", which is the standard treaty meaning you must provide a 3 turn notice of treaty cancellation. It's a non-official rule that I always disliked. Bring on the paranoid cutthroat backstabbing at a moments notice you fucking pussies.

So basically this game is sort of a cross between Aixs & Allies/Shogun and Diplomacy, with dozens of spells and giant demons. The sheer amount of tactical options available through the spells and avatars makes this the turn based equivalent of starcraft. It can be really, really fun and will excercise your tactical chops......BUT

There were two real big drawbacks that eventually turned me off though. One was the diplomacy. You start each game with about 2-5 neighbors. You have to negotiate an NAP with all but one of them, and that means talking to online gamers. It also means you can be fucked right from the start if more than one person attacks you at the start. I never saw much of it, but there are people there who will join with a buddy or two (or three, or four) and premeditate joining games and being permanent allies and ganging up on people. There's also the huge advantage someone gets if one of their neighbors never logs in and they get all their land for free, making them twice as strong as any other starting player who didnt have such luck.

This leads to the second drawback. You can get fucked pretty early on right from the start. This will happen anywhere from one to two thirds of the games you play (unless you're cheap and go in with buddies). But it will take a couple turns (usually a couple days) before you'll know for sure. So you have to sign up for games the way people used to have children; go for as many as you can knowing that only a couple will survive till maturity. So you sign up for 3 or 5 games figuring that you'll only survive the early game in one or two of them. That's 3 or 5 games you have to juggle, and each turns requires a lot of thought. Each game also advances a turn at different rates, on different days, at different times, all of which you have to keep track of. If you miss a single turn you're put at a huge disadvantage and are probably fucked. It starts to feel like work trying to handle all this. You feel like one of those mothers who cranked out seven kids only to have two of them survive and contribute to the family. It got to be just too much effort to get a good game going. Sometimes you'd get unlucky and not survive a single game. Other times you'd survive all of them and have to juggle half a dozen mid to late games at once. And in all this time where you're trying to get good games going, your subscription time is ticking. That's not even considering the couple days it'll take to have games you want become available.

They do offer a free trial though. You get to play one free "my first evernight game" with a bunch of other (supposed) first time players, so you can try that, get an inflated sense of skill as you dominate, then join and get crushed in the real games (I came in 2nd out of 30 then got wiped out in my next three games).
Evernight: Reign of Darkness by FABIO 05/17/2005, 10:05pm PDT
    Re: Evernight: Reign of Darkness by Pablo 02/03/2009, 6:46pm PST
        That reads like a Dana Stevens review =( NT by FABIO 02/03/2009, 8:11pm PST
            You read like a fag by Who contributes nothing 04/04/2011, 12:04pm PDT
    Re: Evernight: Reign of Darkness by a player 03/31/2011, 11:32am PDT
    Re: Evernight: Reign of Darkness by The Mad Scot 11/26/2011, 6:54pm PST
        So you're saying I should...go back to Quake by fabio 11/27/2011, 11:35am PST
            Oh what the hell, I'll bite by fabio 11/27/2011, 8:00pm PST
                Re: Oh what the hell, I'll bite by The Mad Scot 11/29/2011, 8:28am PST
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