While I’m mostly between MMOs, I am trying Evony [Update], from one of the many ads you may have seen. It resembles Travian in many ways, including the faster pace once fighting starts. I was not sure if I wanted that, what with the whole “job” thing versus a server potentially filled with people who have nothing better to do on summer vacation. Thus came a simple plan: I joined the second-meanest alliance on a newly formed server. Attacking me now risks the wrath of about 400 other people who have nothing better to do than crush every red flag in the area.
This weekend showed an interesting example of that. Looking in around lunch time, there was a discussion of some fellow who had attacked an alliance member and been rude in mailed discussions. He had a strong defensive position with two large castles next to each other, each with thousands of troops and traps, along some friends nearby. “Bring it on” must have seemed like a reasonable thing for him to say, especially when some of us (like me) were over an hour’s travel away from the fight. And then he was attacked something like 100 times that afternoon, until there was nothing but a flat bit of ground.
This is a problem that has been noted for PvP games: once a customer has only a flat bit of ground, it is hard to get more money from him unless he has such a need for vengeance that he vows to RMT his way to victory. When winning means driving someone from the game, that cannot be good for the company, worse if a large alliance gives up and quits en masse.
On the other side, I played Team Fortress on some random servers this weekend. I had a good time, discovering that I really liked the Heavy, which is good since my two favorite classes do not have their achievement/item packs yet. Here, when someone dies, he comes back 11 seconds later with no penalties at all. After a pair of snipers trade deaths three or four times in a minute, I begin to wonder about the point of it all.