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I haven't played any other browser games because I haven't got the time because this game is so addictive. Saying that, I find it hard to recommend it to other people. I find the game addictive and have been playing it for nearly 3 years over multiple servers. I enjoy the camaraderie of the guild system and the ability to grow your empire.
However, there is much wrong with the game even though the mechanics of the game play are sound. To play the game even somewhat successfully requires a huge time investment. If you play for a few minutes a day, you can grow your empire but you will not be able to do much with it unless you are protected by a strong guild. If you haven't got guild protection, then you will be attacked constantly and your growth will be very slow.
It requires a huge amount of time to constantly scout for targets and because of this, some people have written scripts to make the process automated.This is against the terms of the game and those found are suspended or banned. However, this doesn't stop it happening and the best people in the game are taken into the best guilds and given access to these scripts. This allows the best to stay the best and the little people have even less chances. There wouldn't be need for scripts if scouting wasn't so time intensive. I can see how the developers would think that time invested in scouting would be rewarded with targets but it really requires a huge constant effort which is why people came up with scripts to do it instead.
The empire growth is fun for the first few months but each 5% increase in production or a structure costs 50% more than the level before. This is great because it means that although you can be behind people, it takes them longer and longer to get ahead of you. The downside is that once you get to a respectable level for most items, they then start to take months to build. This is tedious.
Another problem is that when you lose your fleet in a battle, it has to be rebuilt and this can take months if not years. If you have just spent a year building an impressive fleet only to have it wrecked by another player, then that years work is gone and it will take you another year just to get to where you were.
The developers don't do much to change the game. The last major changes were a couple of years ago although there are a constant stream of small tweaks. The major effort this year seems to have been in introducing images for the ships in your fleet. This is totally useless as the images serve no purpose what so ever. Also, in general, don't expect any support from the moderators or developers. This is a common thought on the forum here and is true.
There have been several large fleet battles this year in what I guess the developers call "epic Battles". The constant complaint across several servers is that the game slows right down and lags during the huge battles and makes the game frustrating and even unplayable at that time. Moderators and supporters of the game say that the playing field is even for all involved but I don't appreciate spending a year building a fleet only to be unable to use it properly when the time comes. This really needs to be solved.
I have seen that a new server, Juno, started recently. A scroll through the top guilds that are only a week old show that many of them are set up by people from other previous servers. This means that new players in Juno are behind the eight ball from the start in both knowledge and diplomacy. It also shows how addictive the game is as people continue to play it.
Anyway, i love the game but wish I'd never started it because it requires so much time to play well. If you aren't prepared to make a big commitment to the game,then you won't get much out of it except for it being a chatboard if you get into a fun guild.