Monday, July 20, 2009


I've been caught up on the web game Evony lately.

In this game we build cities, armies, fight and trade. I got used to it fairly quick and saw how to get 'large'. There are Alliances, where we ask and answer questions about what to do, pass time waiting for goals to be accomplished, that kind of thing.

Players will ask me, "How did your cities get to be so large?" and I tell them, it's not a secret, it is formulaic.

I've given these strugglers large amounts of 'gold' to follow through on their plan to make their cities larger and their characters more powerful in the game.

But it is a study in human nature. Since it is a war game, the natural thing to do is to build an army, which uses resources to build and 'food' to maintain.

But, if you build your population, you can tax them and use that to build an army.

Simple. Well no. No sooner do these folk get a large donation of 'gold', they decide that I'm not 'right' with my silly idea of 'growing the city', they build an army instead.

So now, I'm like the dad who explains the value of money to his children, gives them starting money, only to see them squander it.

It's hilarious because it's not real money, the game is only fun if you play it and are having fun, but it is my nature to think of them as ingrates, squandering the chance that I gave them.

They, in turn, act like bratty kids who imagined I was going to watch them squander the 'gold' and give them MORE, me thinking that sooner or later they'd get it right.

Now it's down to a question of the 'value' of what I gave them. I said it was not a big deal when I gave it to them, why shouldn't they do their own thing? If it doesn't work out for them(never will), they'll just whine a little to daddy and HE will cough up some more.

This is very strange because, while trying to tell them how to play well and giving them a boost, they are teaching me that it just won't work. Everyone thinks they know better and welcomed help becomes expected, in fact I'm being mean if I quit supporting them in their bad habits!

I'm left learning that you can't help a new player to help themselves, they want YOU to help and help and help.

Human nature, I suppose.

Evony... where life lessons costs virtual gold.