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Sep 22,2011 01:09 by Sara Lau7
Labeled as free-to-play, Grepolis is paradoxically not a strategy MMO that is made for free players. With its polished graphics, vast map and rich contents, the game just lets down and thus loses many fans that are driven away by its over-emphasis on premium.
After simple registration and login, you can enter the beautifully depicted world. Tutorial is not very helpful, for it provides the self-explanatory messages such as Farm for producing food and Senate for issuing construction orders while leaves out the practical operation like how to dispatch units to wage wars or apply for the membership in an established alliance. Luckily, you can just turn it off to skip.
In contrast to the tutorial, its interface is user-friendly, concise yet informative. Just press the active icons to check out each part and you can easily acquaint yourself with the entire gameplay. To be specific, three types of resources can be gained from time-consuming production in mines, or from quick levy or even loot in conquered farming villages; unlocking and upgrading various builds cost resources and time under the same rule: higher level, greater requirement; cultural activities can be engaged after unlocking various facilities such as City Festival, Olympic Games and Theater Plays; military units not only cover diversified forces on the land but also include varied battle ships in the sea; alliance can be created or joined to gain greater odds in wars. Besides, set in the Greek background, it suitably includes the play of mythological gods as an influence in the results of warfare.
Sounds like an interesting game with depth, right? Just as you impatiently thrust into it, you would soon find the excitement fade away, for the initial resource production brazenly lasts like forever. Only two builds are allowed at one time and the time to complete lasts long even at the low levels; resources produce such low yields that even not suffice to support the consecutive upgrading of the basic buildings not more than six types. Without resources, the whole game just halts in a deadlock. And several hours of grinding cannot get you to a Level 2 Barrack, let alone all those powerful units and vehicles waiting to be unlocked with greater amount of resources, more free population and longer time. Given the difficulty of building up an army, what can you expect from the strategic wars?
Of course, it is another story for premium members, who can pay to spare themselves from such sufferings. To buy an Administrator can immediately get five more slots in construction queue plus eleven overviews covering almost everything from builds and units to culture and gods; to buy a Merchant increases resource production by 30%; to buy a High Priestess can gain 50% more favor production plus 20% more strength for mystic units; and there are also Commander and Captain to buy to bring about cutting-edge in battles, on the land or in the sea.
So Grepolis makes it simply clear: pay to enjoy, or pass after a dip. Any difference from Evony?
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