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Stoan's Words

Inform others of what I like and don't like within the MMO-Genre.

Author: stoan

The website www.ikariam.com provides a simple and easy-to-use romanesque empire building game. It has all the features familiar with most RTS games such as gathering different building resources in order to upgrade your town and armies. It only take a few minutes a day to manage your Island nation so theres not alot of commitment needed. However, Ikariam may be a bit misleading in potraying itself as an MMO. While you do play with others it isn't encouraged and, often times, results in a banning.

Rules prohibit you from forming an Alliance (what Ikariam calls guilds) with players you might actually know. Doing so will result in a banning and while there are trade ships you are not allowed to trade to people you might actually know. If they even suspect that you are doing so then get ready for a banning. Additionally, if you get a shipment of materials from someone else then you are required to return those materials, or send a like amount of another material, or the bans will ensue. So you need to log on often to make sure another player isn't sending you supplies that can get you banned. This leads one to wonder why trade ships are even in the game to begin with.

Additionally, if you play games with a roomate, spouse, or sibling then you can completely forget about even trying Ikariam. Even if you use seperate computers with a router if their data suggests that you are playing from the same basic connection then you will be the proud recipient of a permanent ban.

It strikes me as odd that a game reaching out to the MMO player demographic has so many rules in place that actually prevent players from playing together. While you might play alongside other players, you will rarely interact with them and attempting to in many cases results in bannings.

One might be lead to the conclusion that Ikariam places such strict rules simply so that they may ban older users to prevent them from realizing that there is no ultimate reward for building up your empire. After being banned you are even notified by the support team that you may feel free to start over. The support team is not the nicest group nor are they the most well-versed people in the use of the English language so dealing with them is somewhat of a hassle. And Ikariam makes you interact with this support far too often. One of the few things that a large empire might afford you is a large army. However, any member of any alliance may only attack a single other user three times within a 24 hour period. These attacks are more like minor battles. To be allowed to partake in larger scale warfare you must contact the support team and request permision to declare war. Again, the support team is less than adequate so good luck when dealing with them.

Ultimately, Ikariam might be a fun distraction but they need to find another way to market themselves and move away from attempting to get the MMO community as they are geared towards more social aspects and interaction that is not even allowed in Ikariam. Perhaps, instead of refering to their game as a browser-based MMO, they should call it a SSO for Sparsely-Populated Single-Player Online Game.
 

Quizzical writes:

So basically, you got banned and you came here to complain about it?

While I'm not familiar with the game, it sounds like the sort of game where one person playing multiple accounts could gain a huge advantage by doing so, so the company has to crack down on that. 

Sun Jan 11 2009 3:46PM Report
ANTIverson writes:

Actually it sounds like there are some major problems with the game.  That's a pretty horrible way to crack down on multiple account users.

Sun Jan 11 2009 5:36PM Report
Superman0X writes:

The rules can be found here:

http://www.ikariam.com/rules.php

What the OP has stated is not exactly true, nor is it totally false. They do have some really funny rules, that could easily be enforced by the game.. but that are not actually supported.

Sun Jan 11 2009 6:06PM Report
Gishgeron writes:

Funny thing, this matter.  Its seems like a simple precaution against exploitation...but then, on the most basic level, human beings exist and progress based entirely on exploitation to some degree.  Its seems they may have taken TOO many steps to prevent insider trading (which is essentially what the major worry is...allowing sibling empires to feed a major one when each are being operated by a single, inside, person).  I can see how easy that would be to do...and easy, thus, then to quickly create a superpower under circumstances the average user will not have.

But then, when walking the line of choice between exploits and basic system enjoyment...its best to let exploitation go a little if it means the overall user will benefit and be happy.

Mon Jan 12 2009 1:24AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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